Partners Gallery is showing the work of the late legendary Mendocino Coast artist Eduardo Smissen, February 9 through March 6. Eduardo described his paintings as…“my reflections of divine chuckles or the frustrated stutter. Mystery has always been a source for my work, from the long shadows of film noir to the burning giraffes of surrealism.”
Smissen spent a year in Spain absorbing Salvador Dali’s Catalan coast influences. His images can startle, like a painting of a flaming suitcase falling into the ocean (Lost Luggage) or a large painting of very large flies (Fly Dynasty). Described as a fabulist, he fits the definition of an imagination unfettered by the laws of logic. His friend Stephan Kessler referred to Eduardo as “…an enthusiast and a joker whose conversational tone always had a slightly mischievous and ironic edge.” He utilized gunpowder in his work as well as discarded objects and flea market finds, giving them new meaning. “I use my life, my vision on areas I feel should be looked at, and pose questions I feel should be considered. My working method is fairly simple: Gathering, Arranging and Execution.”
Eduardo’s widow Joelle Signorelli will join us at the Second Saturday opening February 11, 5-7 pm. 45062 Ukiah St. Mendocino.
Gallery hours are Thursday through Monday 11 to 4:30.
Born 1944, East Los Angeles, California
The artist's Cuban father migrated to the U.S. in the 1930's. His mother was born in and grew up in Los Angeles, the daughter of Mexican-born parents. They met in Los Angeles at the end of the Depression years and were married three months later. Both parents worked very hard to make ends meet, even after Eduardo Lorenzo Mario Smissen was born five years later.
An only child, Smissen was often left alone. He spent a great deal of his youth sitting under tables drawing pictures, a source of comfort and security. The more he drew, the better he got, and first his family, then his peers, and eventually his art teachers began to encourage his talent.
In 1964 Smissen found himself in France. While in Europe, he studied art at L'Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris and L'Acadamie des Beaux Arts in Brussels. He returned to his family in the U.S. in 1966.
Smissen subsequently moved to Hollywood, California. Got married, had a child and got a divorce. He has lived and worked throughout California, the Northwest and Europe — he lived on the Costa Brava of Spain for five years — and returned to Northern California in 1985.
He lived in Elk on the Mendocino County Coast with his wife and two children until he died in February 2015.
45062 Ukiah St.
Mendocino, CA 95460