Richard Reitz Smith – Things Beneath


© 2020
edition of 1
dimensions in inches: 12 x 8 x 1


About this piece:

 Things Beneath started first as expressive ink on paper. A creative process that is reactive to the moment in time and state of the artist. The pages were created in May 2020. The world of the artist was in turmoil. At a macrocosm level, the leaders the country and the world were shutting down and disfunction grew. At the microcosm level, the artist’s personal life was uncertain. The months that followed became a self-reflective investigation. First the stream of conscious brushwork, then the more measured poems.

The pages are interlocking as a variation on Hedi Kyle’s highway book format. The diecut organic shapes and blend with the ink spots.

Things Beneath

Best advice…Leave it be.
Unfelt. Unspoken. Unknown.
Things beneath are seldom tread.
Co-mingling and churning like gut bacteria.
Leave it be. Just let it rest.

You didn’t know. I didn’t say.
Don’t ask. Don’t tell.
Best covered, disguised, obscured, and hidden.
Just let it fester out of sight.
That’s best. Clean and tight and tidy.

Best left unsaid.
More of “What’s the weather?”
More of “How are you?”
But not wanting anything more
than “Fine.” or “Good.”

Things beneath get along
just dandy when left alone.
When screened by a veil of smoke.
No scabs visible if there are no cuts.
No wounds if none were inflicted.

Injury doesn’t hurt
if there is no pain.
Unfelt if not recognized.
So look the other way.
It’s safer if ignored.

Otherwise, there’s blood!
And that stains.
Out damn spot…here and
there…it never stops — the spots.
So better left ignored.


paper, ink

About the artist:

Lives and works in Camden, Maine.

Richard Reitz Smith is an artist and designer who creates work within the fine arts as a painter and printmaker. Within book arts, he is a letterpress printer, as well as a book artist and papermaker.

Richard holds a BFA in fine art from Carnegie Mellon University and MFA in graphic design from Tyler School of Art.

Richard is the chair of the Book Arts Program and studio manager at Maine Media Workshops in Rockport, Maine where he teaches workshops in letterpress printing, book creation and design. He works with other artists to offer a wide range of workshops at Maine Media.

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Richard Reitz Smith – Things Beneath