PaulSmedberg.comfaq - frequently asked questions


Q: How do you make this stuff?

A: I take original pictures and play with the images on computer. Poking and prodding them until I like the product. See the right column.

Q: Why do you make this stuff?

A: Over the years, it's become sort of an obcession. I just have to make this stuff.

Q: Are all the images and compositions original with you?

A: Yes. Every bit.

Q: When you say, "edition of 7 " what exactly does that mean?

A: I only make 7 prints. Then I don't make any further prints of that source file. I also won't reproduce the image in a different size or sell unsigned works or APs (artists proofs). "Edition of 7" means that only seven prints will ever be made. Sometimes I print the edition all at once, sometimes I print them as they sell. I do reserve the right to use images of these works in promotion, in a book or on web sites or something as yet unanticipated – but never again as signed prints.

Q: When the edition is fully printed, do you destroy the source file?

A: No. I save the file. I coudn't bear deleting one of my babies.

Q: How are these photographic assemblages different from collages?

A: Well, I was just looking for a term to describe what I do. I frequently use transparency and tracing and superimposition and other digitally mediated techniques. I think of collages as a pasting together of cut-out things. What I do is blend and fold and explode and cream images together. These techniques need a better term than collage. I call them photo assemblages.

Q: If I have a question that you haven't answered here, what should I do?

A: Email me at

Q: Do you reuse images that are part of a work?

A: Yes. I sometimes reuse some of the source images, combining them in new ways, you may see similarities to other works that use those same images. Salvadore Dali used the image of a burning giraffe or a crutch in a bunch of his pictures. Van Gogh painted a vase of flowers a number of times. Andy Warhol used pictures of Marilyn, etc. Source images in one closed edition may show up in other editions, and there are series such as Ruins at Agrigento or Dead Cars that are derived from a set of a few dozen original photos.

Q: Can I visit your studio?

A: Weeellll, it's not much of a studio. Just a smallish room with a computer and piles of stuff on desks. I shoot the photos in the field, then mess around with them on my computer. There's no studio qua studio. But ask away, I'm generally open to visitors.

Q: Do you do any art other than these prints?

A: Yes. I've made a bunch of internet and video art. Here's a partial listing. I do the occasional installation too.

Q: Who are your big influences?

A: I'm a big fan of Rauschenberg. What a guy. I've learned so much just by staring at his stuff. Miro is way up there, especially his treatment of the twiddly bits. de Chirico. Feininger. Demuth. Uelsmann. Arnulf Rainer where he took a pencil to photographs. Beuys, Barney and Stella are also pretty great, but I can't look at my work and see their influence anywhere. de Kooning, Klein, Rivera and Motherwell, compositionally. Caulder for the fun of it all.












The assemblages combine multiple images and details.