Artist in Residence: Smart Urhiofe

In April 2017 we were thrilled to have Smart Urhiofe join us for a month long residency exploring the theme A New Face.

Smart Urhiofe is an artist and menswear designer based in London, UK. For his one-month residency at STPLN he decided to revisit his early drawing style and apply it to some famous and recognisable artists portraits. His drawings were then screen-printed onto t-shirts to be showcased during the final week of the project.

Photo: Smart Urhiofe

Smart says " a fashion designer coming from a more structured and tailored background, I feel there is an increasing fine line between fashion and art, and I feel this is a fun way to show how the two are constantly changing and merging.

I feel we are always looking for beauty in everything we set our senses on, and through the years we’ve come to collectively understand what makes something beautiful. We don’t know why that is, we’ve just been taught from childhood.

Photo: Smart Urhiofe

Photo: Smart Urhiofe

I have always been fascinated by the beauty spot on models faces and how somehow this small imperfection strengthens their beauty.This fascination led me to use the beauty spot to enhance my ‘ugly’ accidental drawings including those by famous artists.

The idea was to draw portraits with my eyes closed. Any face that came to mind, be it a memory, recent or old, with the one rule being I couldn’t open my eyes until I felt they were complete. On opening my eyes I would barely see a face amongst all the scribbles. Nevertheless there was always a face. I would go back to them from time to time and make them more distinguishable by removing lines or changing features. I did one and it looked like a baby drew it with a thick crayon. I loved it. It looked like I created a new being, a new face.

Joshua Ng