Clive Smith

Book cover with painted bird
Gaitonde Flameback, detail. Courtesy of Marc Straus Gallery
blue and yellow, black and red butterflies pinned on boards
The Kelly Butterfly Collection, detail. Courtesy of Marc Straus Gallery

Clive Smith, originally from Great Britain and now in New York for years, was initially trained as a portrait painter. For the past few years, he’s been concerned by the extinction of various species and genetic engineering. Smith conceives of his own imaginary species by merging the sensibility of famous art masterpieces and visually compatible species. The results are captivatingly beautiful paintings of these extraordinary fictional subspecies both on stretched canvases and on old canvas-bound books of art history and zoology.