An intrepid iconoclast, Winston Smith has been slicing and dicing the media gristle of vulgar Americana to riotously satiric effect for so long now that he is nothing short of an icon himself. Widely revered for his record cover art, most famously for acts like The Dead Kennedys, Green Day, D.O.A., Ben Harper and George Carlin, Smith has come to define the attitudes and aesthetics of Punk Rock, while forging an acerbic collage style that is oft-imitated but rarely matched. Continuing to show his work internationally, Winston Smith was the subject of a thirty-year retrospective at E6 Gallery in San Francisco this Fall and currently has a major show at <TK> in Tokyo. In “The Idol Rich,” a special commission for Paper, Smith reprises his classic “In God We Trust” cross of dollars amidst an assembly of caricature grotesques of our national faith in greed.
Winston Smith has always stormed the Citadel of the Image Police. Like William Burroughs cut-ups, he cuts through tradition and cliched lines of association to create new thoughts ultimately aimed at the destruction of all authoritarian false conciousness.
I lusted for Winston Smith’s art for my book the moment I saw a compendium of his stuff. He’s copied the murals off the interior of the psycho-commercial skull of the American Nightmare. He can construct on one page what it takes me a whole chapter to write.
Winston wields his scalpel with razor sharp accuracy, conducting open-heart surgery on a heartless society.
Winston Smith’s brilliant mind-bendingly psycedelic cut and pastings make my head spin, my stomach churn, and my heart grow hair (and that’s a good thing).
Winston Smith’s incredible collages stand as a constant reminder of hypocricy in the Democracy. His razor wit and visual wisdom put the “United Snakes of Amerika” in their proper place — nailed to the wall, exposed for all to see. Thanks to Winston’s patriot acts, this country’s a safer place.
Winston’s Smith is a national treasure. Smith possesses a dry, savage wit, meticulous balance between earnestness, and irony and a lazer sharp eye for the follies of American society and politics. A consumate perfectionist, he’s political art’s best-kept secret.
What always struck me about Winston’s work is his ability to make a profound comment purely by reshuffling found images in a way that is both humorous and pointed. Winston’s recent work is more beautiful than ever making his visual puns that are harsh indictments of the American dream as an ideal even more jarring.
Winston Smith crafts and creates new worlds from an attention-commanding, somehow hypnotic synthesis of selected images from America’s priceless, almost unknown graphic heritage. His sly and sardonic work breathes with the presence of the past and the evolved future waiting to be born.
Winston Smith’s collage art is a cutting socio-political commentary on the late 20th Century. Irreverent in style, each unique piece is bursting with color and kinetic ideas.
He’s the gatekeeper to the phantasmagoric realms.
If there were a job title called, “Master of the Confluence of Parallel Realities,” Winston Smith would fit the bill. Each piece of work is a “samizdat” substitute that is plausible outside of its own context. He butters his bread on three sides everyday and twice on Sunday.