Out Of My Mind


New Work By Donny Smutz
June 6th until July 11th, 2009
Opening Reception June 6th, 6 to 9 pm

Donny Smutz is an up-and-coming surrealist artist who recently joined an exclusive representation agreement with Tinney Contemporary. Smutz, who lives in Nashville, has already had solo shows in Los Angeles, Nashville, and Pittsburgh. Smutz's artwork is known for courting controversy. At 2008 exhibition in Nashville, a painting of his was slashed with a box-cutter by someone who thought his work was blasphemous (the painting depicted Catholic nuns in a compromising position). 

Smutz's latest controversial painting titled  .gov is a large acrylic-on-canvas depiction of President Barack Obama hanging on a cross while being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey and being offered a cheeseburger by Ronald McDonald. This painting will make its debut on the opening night of Smutz's five-week Tinney Contemporary engagement, which is during the Downtown Art Crawl June 6. This painting, due to its sensitive nature and seamless combination of the sacred, profane and popular, will be protected by a private security guard at the exhibition.

The following is an excerpt from an upcoming interview with Donny by C. Conant of the Conant + Burns Group:

Donny Smutz (pronounced "Sm-ooo-tz") grew up in the American heartland of Kansas, but his paintings have nothing to do with big skies and grain elevators. Smutz's artwork, which he creates late at night while most of the world sleeps, is a dream-like world of surrealist images that brings to mind something by Salvador Dali or M.C. Escher. Since moving to Nashville, about two years ago, Smutz has established himself as an artist to watch, with solo gallery shows in Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and Nashville. Smutz, who is self-taught, began his career as a graphic artist and muralist, and even spent a year painting elaborate designs on custom motorcycles. Today Smutz spends his days, and especially nights, in a small Nashville studio painting large acrylic-on-canvas works that are often provocative. I sat down with Smutz, 31, to talk about his provocative artwork and his philosophy on the creative process...

*Read the full interview

In The Salon: Craig Dongoski

Craig Dongoski is an artist living and working in Atlanta since June 1999. He has taught painting and drawing full-time at Georgia State University becoming a permanent faculty member in fall 2001. During the summer of 2001, Craig presented a fragment of a film and soundtrack he is involved in making titled The Wisdom Connected with Children Freezing to Death. This film was shown at the Raymond Lawrence Gallery in Atlanta during the month of August 2001. Prior to his move to Atlanta, Dongoski had lived and worked in Boston since 1991 where he was on the permanent faculty at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. He has been very active in exhibiting in the United States and in Europe. Further involvements include organizing outreach programs such as the International Print Symposium in Boston and co-curating a major exhibition and print exchange for the First Africus Biennial in Johannesburg, South Africa. Dongoski's work is a continuous and ongoing exploration of the self.