Josh Smith: Even though I get joy each time I make a new painting, I tend to maximize the experience by creating a bigger family of the image in different possible ways...I love one painting that gives birth to another.
Rail: You’re creating the family’s genealogy in a sense. It’s a very fertile way of thinking of serialization and repetition.
Smith: Painting is just a really good vehicle for me, to move what’s in me outward. I love this format of a flat object, which I can put part of myself into. I can take certain things out, while putting something else in, moving things around, and whatever. It’s a created world where no one’s getting hurt. It’s all invented and recorded on this surface, often in a single size because I just like the uniformity—think of a writer with a stack of standard papers, which he or she is going to turn into a novel, so here they go—and I just think "okay this is what I’ve got to work with, how am I going to get this together?" For each show I just form a family tree within my own interest and capacity.
Read the full interview in The Brooklyn Rail
Image: Installation view, Josh Smith: Emo Jungle, David Zwirner, New York, 2019