RODNEY SMITH (1947-2016) was a celebrated photographer whose whimsical work invited comparison to that of surrealist painter Rene Magritte. Long acclaimed for his iconic black and white images that combine portraiture and landscape, Smith created enchanted worlds full of subtle contradictions and surprises. Using only film and light, his un-retouched, dream-like images are matched in quality by the craft and physical beauty of his prints.
Smith’s career as a photographer spanned four decades and immersed him in editorial assignments for The New York Times, Vanity Fair, and W Magazine as well as fashion shoots for Bergdorf Goodman, Ralph Lauren, Paul Stuart, and others. All sought to tap into his brilliant eye and unique style, as well as his affinity for spontaneity, humor, and surrealism. “I trust my instincts to get to the heart of the matter. Once I find the right location and the right light, everything else follows from there.”
Smith’s work took him to beautiful locations around the world including some of Chicago’s most iconic settings. He captured the image above during his 1997 Chicago photoshoot—one of many that combine his wit, grace and humor, against a backdrop of the lakefront and other architectural monuments.
Today Smith’s work is shown at museums and galleries and collected by private individuals. The Estate of Rodney Smith is dedicated to preserving his archive and sharing it with audiences around the world who appreciate his signature aesthetic and whimsical sense of humor.
Jessica with Camera, Chicago, Illinois, 1997 and other work by Rodney Smith is available through Anne Loucks Gallery, 309 Park Avenue, Glencoe, 847-835-8500, www.loucksgallery.com.