Celebrating Darkness in the Natural World: "Dark Nature" at Last Rites Gallery

Eight years ago, I was still a printmaking student at Pratt Institute and I heard that Stephen Kasner was having an exhibition of his work at a gallery in Manhattan. I became a fan of his paintings after he created some art for the band, Integrity. I wasn't able to make it to the opening because I had a late class that evening, but the next day, I visited Last Rites Gallery to see the exhibition. Not only was I blown away by his work in person, but I also loved the gallery and at that moment I thought, "Wow, this is such an incredible alternative to all of the white-walled gallery spaces I've been seeing... At some point, I want to show here and it'll feel really fuckin' rad." Last weekend, three new pieces of mine were a part of "Dark Nature" at Last Rites Gallery, along with some fantastic artists. And it does feel really fuckin' rad.

If you weren't able to make it to the opening, I highly suggest visiting the gallery and seeing the exhibition.  "Dark Nature" features the works of Caitlin Hackett, Kikyz1313, Zoe Keller, Deidra Leigh, Nunzio Paci, Alex Reisfar, Annie Terrazzo, Erica Williams, and yours truly, Dylan Garrett Smith.

For purchasing information and availability, contact Last Rites Gallery at info@lastritesgallery.com or by phone at 212-560-0666.

 

"A New Seed is Sown", 2017 Ashes, chalk-lead and ink on black cotton-rag paper 16x20", 18x24" framed Contact Last Rites Gallery for purchasing information

"A New Seed is Sown", 2017
Ashes, chalk-lead and ink on black cotton-rag paper
16x20", 18x24" framed
Contact Last Rites Gallery for purchasing information

"The Binding Ritual", 2017 Ashes, chalk-lead and ink on black cotton-rag paper 16x20", 18x24" framed Contact Last Rites Gallery for purchasing information

"The Binding Ritual", 2017
Ashes, chalk-lead and ink on black cotton-rag paper
16x20", 18x24" framed
Contact Last Rites Gallery for purchasing information

"The Blind-Worm's Sting", 2017 Ashes, chalk-lead and ink on black cotton-rag paper 16x20", 18x24" framed Contact Last Rites Gallery for purchasing information

"The Blind-Worm's Sting", 2017
Ashes, chalk-lead and ink on black cotton-rag paper
16x20", 18x24" framed
Contact Last Rites Gallery for purchasing information

Dylan Garrett Smith X MASTODON Shirt

A few months ago I had the absolute pleasure of designing a new shirt for one of my favorite bands - Mastodon.  Aside from their records, over the years, I have always been impressed with the collection of visual artists they have utilized like Paul Romano, AJ Fosik, Skinner, Sin-Eater and Richey Beckett.  Needless to say, I"m ecstatic to join the list of artists that have worked with this influential band and I am insanely excited to let you know that the shirt is available for purchase here.

 

The Smallest Wonders

Arch Enemy Arts in Philadelphia is one of my all-time favorite galleries.  Noah, Lawren, and Patrick consistently curate the best exhibitions with some of my favorite contemporary artists.  Towards the end of every year, I look forward to the "Small Wonders" show, where each artist creates small works of art (under 12x12"), all priced under $250.  Though this is the 5th year of "Small Wonders", I'm ecstatic to say that I will be participating for my second year alongside 49 other incredibly talented artists:

Alex Eckamn-Lawn, Allison Sommers, Ania Tomicka, Audrey Pongracz, Brian Mashburn, Bruce Parker, Caitlin Hackett, Caitlin McCormack, Carly Janine Mazur, Chris Austin, Christina Mrozik, David Seidman, Dewi Plass, Drew Leshko, Emily May Rose, Erich J. Moffitt, Grace Lang, Gretchen Lewis, Hanna Jaeun, Jared Tuttle, Jason Hernandez, Jeanne D'Angelo, Jeremy Hush, Jessica Dalva, Jessica Wolfert, JoKa, Kristen Egan, Lara Dann, Maj Askew, Maria Teicher, Matt Ritchie, Michael Bukowski, Mike Bell, Mimi Yoon, Nathalie Lagacé, Neil M. Perry, Nom Kinnear King, Paul Romano, Peca, Rachael Bridge, Rebecca Adams, Sean Talamini, Susanne Apgar, Terry Ribera, Tracy Lewis, and Veks Van Hillik.

"Small Wonders 5" opens tomorrow, Friday, November 4th at Arch Enemy Arts in Philadelphia and will be up until November 23rd.

"The Collector I" (pitcher plants/bones)
Ashes, chalk-lead, and ink on black cotton-rag paper
4x6"
$165

 

"The Collector II" (deer/skulls)
Ashes, chalk-lead, and ink on black cotton-rag paper
5x7"
$200

 

"The Collector III" (Venus fly traps/teeth)
Ashes, chalk-lead, and ink on black cotton-rag paper
4x6"
SOLD

 

To purchase these pieces or any of the others in the exhibition, visit their website here or contact them via email at archenemyarts@gmail.com or by phone at (215) 717-7774.

Bones and Roses for Old Wounds

Old Wounds are hands-down one of my favorite bands in hardcore right now.  Their live shows bring an explosive energy that is emotional, politically-charged, and infectious as hell.  Their sound is familiar enough for people to quickly latch on, but their unique and original qualities keep you interested and coming back for more.

One of the challenges in designing for Old Wounds is that their aesthetic is already bulletproof thanks to the design sensibilities of their drummer, Brandon Gallagher, who has worked with Trustkill Records, Kill Brand, and a laundry list of bands.  The goal was immediately obvious: blend my style with Old Wound's already set aesthetic to create a new design that FEELS like the band.  From there, I got to work.

Old Wounds' "The Suffering Spirit" is out on Good Fight Music and the band is currently on tour with Every Time I Die, Beartooth, and Fit For a King.  If they come through your city, I highly suggest seeing them.  Bring roses.

 

Making Friends in the Woods- Designs for North Carolina's Mo'ynoq

Shadow Woods Metal Fest is my favorite festival to go to, and the only one I have gone to multiple years in a row as an adult.  The atmosphere is perfect for a metal fest; a few hundred people in the woods of Maryland, camping, partying, and enjoying various subgenres of metal.  I went the first year (last year) as a spectator and found the environment to be incredibly special.  This year I returned as a vendor to sell prints, patches, and some other things.

Photo from the insanely talented illustrator, Fred Grabosky (@ftg.illus on IG).

Photo from the insanely talented illustrator, Fred Grabosky (@ftg.illus on IG).

Between watching the 41 bands that played in the woods that weekend, I spoke with many other vendors, spectators, and friends, and came across a table selling posters (among many other great things) of a design I did for my friends in Lesser Life from North Carolina.  Excited by seeing my work out in the wild and being sold by someone I didn't know, I was eager to learn how this came about!  I struck up a conversation and found out there were also from North Carolina, friends with the members of Lesser Life, and they had been given some posters to accompany their zine all about black metal from North Carolina.  RAD!

A few days after being home from Shadow Woods Metal Fest, I received an email from them asking if I could design something for their band, Mo'ynoq, since they had a tour quickly approaching.  I was more than happy to help!

Check out Mo'ynoq's album, "Anguish and Atonement" on Bandcamp here and be sure to see them if they happen to be in your town while on tour!

 

The Witches of Instagram and W Magazine

A couple of months ago, my partner, Crystal Lee Lucas (@naudirr on IG), and I decided to visit Hawk Mountain Sanctuary on a dreary, rainy, foggy day, knowing no one would be able to see beautiful birds of prey, keeping them off of the trails.  We brought our camera and a couple of pieces by our friend, Sophi Reaptress, for Crystal to model while I took photographs.

 

A couple of weeks ago, our friend Tilly Garcia (@_spirits) shared an article from WMagazine.com with us titled, "Meet The Witches of Instagram," which highlighted the pages of Tilly, Willow Smith, Josephine Pearl Lee (@princessgollum), Rachel Howe (@smallspells), The Hood Witch (@thehoodwitch), Beatrix Ost (@beatrixost), Helen Michelsen (@helen.michelsen), Spirit Speak, Radiant Human, and Witches of Bushwick, and the wonderful Crystal Lee Lucas, using the photograph I took of her at Hawk Mountain!  Needless to say, I was pretty excited that she was being recognized for how damn cool she is, and my photo being shared wasn't too bad, either.  You can check out the article here.

The Dark & The Surreal with Renee Ruin

I was recently interviewed by my friend, Renee Ruin, for her site, www.reneeruin.com!  I talk about not being good at anything, my artistic process, maintaining personal integrity while working on commercial art, and more!  You can read the full interview here.

Surf's Up, But I'm Still Down - Low Spirits

Little is known about my depressive surf-punk band, Low Spirits, outside of my immediate circle of friends.  Last week we played our second annual beach party at Castle Weird Skull in Effort, PA with our friends Spur, Aaron and the Burrs, and Cheap Pop.  Before and after the show, we recorded our first tape with Biff of Aaron and the Burrs and Feral Kid Records- I couldn't be more excited to share it with everyone.

Recently, I was interviewed by The/Studio, who recently helped us create our embroidered patches.  You can read the interview and learn more about the project here.

For our second annual beach party, we also had shirts and pins made through the fine folks at LVAC in the beautiful, tropical paradise of Allentown, PA.  If you need anything printed, I highly recommend LVAC.

You can pick up our embroidered patches, shirts, and pins in our online store here.

Cuteness for a Good Cause - Kitten Lady

My good friend, Hannah Shaw AKA Kitten Lady, recently asked me if I could design a new shirt for her featuring the adorable kittens, Riff and Raff.  How could I possibly say no?!  She sent me a few photos of them hissing and cuddling together and I immediately got to work.  These shirts are now available here and you can see the incredible work Hannah is doing here.

And being that it's kitten season, if you find an abandoned kitten, look to the care advice on her site.  It's CRUCIAL.

 

Lighting the Path with Fad Nauseam

Last year I worked with Fad Nauseam to create art for their album, "Light Your Path".  This album is dark, beautiful, and gives hints of influences ranging from Christian Death to Swans while the insidiously catchy songs get stuck in your head for days.  I'd also like to mention that Mike Wohlberg (The Fat Kid Illustration) did a fantastic job on the layout.  You can check out Mike's incredible work here.

"Light Your Path" is available for download here and you can pick up one of the very limited copies of the album here.

 

Ominous Hymn

I'm incredibly excited about Ominous Hymn's new record, "Tenebris Infernum", and worked with them to create a new sigil for the band to use on future releases, shirts, patches and other merch.  Their brand of black metal is sludgy, relentlessly blasphemous and sounds absolutely disgusting.  Needless to say, I love it.  Check out "Tenebris Infernum" here and take a look at the incredible art that Wrest (Jef Whitehead) of Leviathan created for it.

 

Lesser Life

Lesser Life's pummeling mix of death metal, grindcore and black metal absolutely leveled me the second I heard them.  When they contacted me to create a shirt design for them, I was more than excited about getting to work.  Give them a listen here.

If you are interested in purchasing the original illustration, it is currently available through Gristle Tattoo and Art Gallery in Brooklyn, NY.

 

What You Fear Will Come Upon You

This is long overdue, but I would like to thank everyone who attended the opening of my exhibition, "What You Fear Will Come Upon You" at Central Tattoo Studio in Philadelphia.  If you weren't able to make the opening but stopped by after, I very much appreciate that, as well.  This collection of work is by far the most personal I've ever created and it's incredibly difficult to discuss the specifics of some of the ideas behind them.  Being able to share these pieces with friends, family and people I care about means a lot.  Thank you.