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"Chasing Light"

The exhibition title is:
‘Chasing Light'

One paragraph summary of the exhibition:
‘Chasing Light’ is a two piece exhibition to which both pieces are intrinsically connected. The main piece, a portrait of hyper-realistic pastel landscape artist Zaria Forman [] was created strictly with her exhausted, used, and pastel stained latex gloves. Which she use(s)d to protect her hands from the cancer causing chemicals in the pastels while drawing her pictures. This piece is titled 'Into The Light'. The second piece in this exhibition is a limited edition large scale print of Zaria's work. The purpose of having these two pieces in one exhibition setting, is the connection between the two. Zaria first used the gloves to create her work, then instead of tossing the gloves once exhausted, she saved them for Martin for her portrait. Martin then photographed Zaria, and collected the gloves she had saved. From there, and being directly inspired by Zaria’s work -filtered through his style and vision- Martin created a large scale portrait of Zaria using only her gloves. Thus, Martin has created a piece of REuse art, Zaria’s portrait, using only her exhausted gloves, directly inspired by her work. (The limited edition print to accompany ‘Into The Light’ in the exhibition, is up for discussion.) Moving back and forth between the two pieces, one can see how the gloves were used originally b Zaria, and where/how they ended up in her portrait by Martin.The exhibitions goal is to address human over consumption and ever increasing waste by inspiring individuals to rethink how they see the world, through the REuse of trashed and discarded materials. And promote the idea that nothing has to be wasted.

Extended Proposal:
The title of this exhibition is ‘Chasing Light’. There are two pieces in this exhibition; Into The Light, and a yet to be chosen, Limited Edition large scale print of Zaria Forman’s work. There will be two artists
involved in this exhibition; Martin Thomas Smyczek II, and Zaria Forman. With Zaria being a silent participant.

Martin Thomas Smyczek II is a Reuse Artist. He creates intriguing and truly unique and fresh works of art with used, discarded, and un-recyclable items that are the result of human waste and over consumption. His work gets people to rethink the world around them, as he attempts to pass on the message of; ‘anything we use, should be designed to be used perpetually and positively, over and over again, and not simply thrown away’. View his work here:

Martin’s piece in this exhibition, ‘Into the Light’, has been created strictly with Zaria’s exhausted, worn, and pastel stained latex gloves. These gloves were not altered -besides cutting- once Zaria had exhausted them producing her drawings. In early 2015, Zaria began saving these used gloves specifically for Martin’s work, instead of throwing them away, after he pitched the piece to her. The gloves that make up ’Into the Light’ have been cut and adhered to a prepped used piece of plastic banner material, with clear silicone. The plastic banner material surface has been professionally stretched and gallery wrapped over a custom built, reclaimed wooden frame. ‘Into the Light’ is 48 x 70.25 x 1in and consists of approx 110 exhausted latex gloves.

Zaria Forman documents Earth’s changing landscapes, due to human fueled climate change, through large scale hyper-realistic drawings, using only pastels and her fingers. View her work, and read more about her here:

The print of Zaria’s in this exhibition will be framed. It will be an archival, limited edition, signed and numbered print from ArtStar, at a size of 40” x 60”. While an original would be ideal, her originals have all been sold.

Brief background of exhibition:
In late 2014, Martin Thomas Smyczek II found Zaria Forman’s work on Colossal, an online art magazine. He was enthralled with her work. Soon after, he reached out to ask her a few questions. By early 2015, Martin was inquiring about the gloves that she wore when drawing. Asking about her gloves, he found out that she began using them a few years prior to protect her hands from the toxic chemicals that the pastels in her art contain, and that she disposed of them after they had been exhausted or damaged. An idea came to Martin… and he pitched it to Zaria (paraphrasing); “I’d like to create a portrait of you, using the used/pastel stained gloves that you use to protect your hands while drawing your pieces”. Without hesitation, she was all in, and proceeded to start collecting her gloves for Martin soon after. She continued to do so right up until the completion of ‘Into The Light’.

Via a whirlwind trip In July 2016, after bout a year and a half of glove collecting by Zaria, Martin traveled to her studio in Brooklyn, NYC, to photograph her for his piece. Principal work on ‘Into The Light’ started soon after in September of 2016. And concluded 17 months, and over 500 hours later, in February 2018.

For Martin, ‘Into The Light’ has been by far the most challenging, exciting, frustrating, and beyond time consuming piece he has worked on yet. Minus a paper reference and the materials used to hold this piece together; the frame, surface, and medium (latex gloves) are all cast-aways of human (over)consumption and waste.

Extended purpose:
By giving Zaria’s exhausted gloves that she used in her own work a new beginning, through using them, and only them, to create a portrait of her, this exhibition promotes the idea that nothing has to be wasted, and that with rethinking, everything can be reused instead of simply being tossed in a can, and sent off to a landfill. It also begs to ask the question; “why can we not make everything to be reused?” No matter what it is, everything we use should be made to be used again, and again, perpetually. Instead of going backwards, and succumbing to our own disastrous and misguided mistakes, we can spend our time here moving forward, and chasing the positive light, to wherever it made lead.

Thanks again for your time! if you have any further interest, you can reach me via the contact lage above.


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