Jerry Smith (1965 – 2014) did junkyards. “Not landfills, but working junkyards–cranes dropping big chunks of metal, planes flying overhead, a real loud and violent atmosphere. I’m intrigued by this part of the urban environment.”

“See how the stuff is mashed up against each other? I wanted a kind of erotic painting, but I wanted the figures to relate to the junkyard. So the figures are mashed up against each other in the same way that all these beer cans and car parts are.”

“The guy dancing on top of the car, he’s based on a figure from Gericault. The contorted woman, I had to get kind of twisted up to paint her, had to know what that pose feels like to paint it. The guy in back–when I go to a party that’s how I tend to dance.”

“It’s all about excesses in the way we live.  What we treasure, what we trash. Excesses and irony. Not a profound narrative or moralistic statement but an obvious irony. People partying in a junkyard–it isn’t an environment people normally have a good time in. They’re just dealing with their environment.”

“Drinkers, dancers, revelers–I have a fascination with the Bacchanalian. Listening to early jazz, there’s a certain point of delirium they reach when five or six musicians are improvising at once, all these disparate elements coming together. It probably sounds like chaos to some people, but it all comes together, this beautiful sound.”

“I haven’t exhausted my interest in the urban scene.”

Jerry C. Smith.

Below are images from one of his sketchbooks provided by the Smith family.

IMG_2263 IMG_2261 IMG_2262 IMG_2274Pic 5Pic 4pic 3pic 2Pic 1IMG_2273Pic 6 IMG_2269 IMG_2268 IMG_2267 IMG_2264 IMG_2270 IMG_2271 IMG_2276 IMG_2275 IMG_2273 IMG_2272 IMG_2266IMG_1884IMG_1878


Yoga oneIMG_1881jerry-smithJerry Map 2

All artwork by Jerry Smith.













  1. Buddy says:

    Met Jerry on a playground maybe the late 70’s….He was hard to get to know and near impossible to forget. I don’t know you Robert but your piece spoke to me, and I thank you for honoring him.

  2. jeff heath says:

    Me and Jerry were best friends from 1972 to 1979 we were blood brothers .for real.we hung out every day he was my hero he taught me how to be a man when we were only kids .we had a fort in the top of my garage and he saved our lives one hot summer day we had a candle burning and it fell over fire quickly spread on the rug we had laid down .instead of panicking jerry grabbed a big blanket we had up there and smothered the fire .I thought we were gonners .jerry was 9 yrs old when he saved us that storybook childhood can be in large part be credited to one person and that is jerry.his creativeness even as a youth was amazing to say the least I knew he would become some kind of artist someday I regret not keeping in touch with him I feel crushed I feel I lost a part of myself I clearly remember cutting our arms with our penknife and melding our blood as bloodbrothers forever .we buried a bag of all of our stuff down by the lake so one day we could dig it up and reminiss but that cant happen now it will be left untouched now. I wouldnt dig it up without him that was our time capsule with all kinds of cool stuff that meant alot to us.we buried it shortly before we had to move apart to different towns .ill never forget Jerry and how he took me under his wing and treated me like gold.we were brothers and will always be .thank you robert .jerry was the bestest friend anyone could possibly have had.I have serious regrets of not keeping up with him and I know I would have brightened up his day if I would have showed up one day at his doorstep.I feel terrible.he was truly an awesome person and friend.

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