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About George

George Smyth's picture
The images I create are meant to provide a jumping-off point for the viewer, allowing them to see what they wish to see, or create a story of their own making. The ethereal nature of the images offers a chance for one to fill in the gaps with objects of their own creation, allowing for a somewhat shared experience. I primarily work with the Bromoil process, one which has few practitioners these days, because it best conveys my intent.

The Braddock Project - Part 1

At one time Braddock was a city of over 20,000 people, but the collapse of the steel industry and infusion of crack cocaine reduced it to a little over 2,000 inhabitants. However, this is not a place that has given up. A strong mayor and the determination of the people are starting to pay off, though there is a very long road ahead.

The Braddock Project - Part 1 is the beginning of a project where I visit the city twice a year over the next decade to document the resurgence. This is a baseline that will tell us where it has been. Indeed, a number of these places no longer exist, as the city works its way back.

Each print was created through the Bromoil process, a labor intensive, time consuming procedure where the silver is removed from a traditionally created darkroom print and replaced with lithographic ink by striking its surface with a stiff, ink charged brush. It adds an ethereal atmosphere to the scene, allowing the viewer to enter and understand the image on their own.

The Extras

The Extras refers to those individuals who play such roles in the movie of my life. I have no interaction with them, I do not hear their conversations, they remain in the background. However, their lack of presence would be disquieting, and I need them to help complete my story. Although they remain at a distance, each extra has their own successes and failures, worries about the future and care for loved ones, and a life as complete as my own. Just as they are extras in the movie of my life, I serve the same purpose for them..

Each print is created through the Bromoil process, a labor intensive, time consuming procedure where the silver is removed from a traditionally made darkroom print, and replaced with lithographic ink by striking its surface with a stiff, ink charged brush. Although this process is seldom used to make images of this nature, it adds an ethereal atmosphere to the scene, which allows the viewer to enter and understand the image on their own.

  • The Conversation

    It had been a long time â?? a very long time since they had seen one another. Each had stories to tell, accomplishments to highlight and failures to gloss over. Growing up they had shared many things, occasionally fighting over their differences, but always finding a way to reconcile the gap. But the years had been too long, and the more they talked, the more they realized that the other was a stranger. They both sought a way to end the conversation and go about their separate ways.
  • LIRR Commuter

    Can you believe it? How long has it been? Almost three months have passed since my last paycheck. I've got the knowledge and I've been doing this for a decade, and am happy to finally have an interview. At last there's a position open that I'm sure to get since they'll see that I'm perfect for the job. So how is it that the train fails me for the first time ever? This needs to be the fastest fifteen minutes of my life.
  • Stalking The Aisles

    How could this have happened again? Time took no vacation, and had crept up like a cat stalking a bird. Her birthday was tomorrow and he hadn't even thought about the present. The birthdays marking a new decade were special and that required a special present. Finding an appropriate one for this occasion was now reduced to absolute luck. He started down the first aisle hoping against hope.
  • Left Behind

    He wondered if he had ever had a chance, if the deck had been stacked so that no matter what card he played, it was a loser. He had done everything right, but to no avail. He couldn't imagine having done anything differently that would have led to success. To his right the train pulled out of the station. How telling. He turned and looked to his left, where everyone else was riding the escalator to the next floor. He wondered why he was not with them.
  • Pegola

    It had been an instant, and one she had not anticipated. He came on like a hero, like a knight in shining armor, like a beacon on a dark hill. Not a week into her job she had accidentally deleted all of those files and felt in a panic. He knew just what to do and saved her from sure disaster. And his smile seemed to indicate that perhaps there may be more to come. She started humming a tune as she thought of the possibilities.
  • Moving On

    He couldnâ??t have been less subtle. Of course, that must have been his intention, to end things in such a way that there would be no turning back. She had felt it coming, but even so, it seemed like part of her was gone and would take time to recover. She looked forward to getting through the mourning process and moving on to the next phase.
  • Encounters

    Nothing was the same. Nothing. Many things were better, but is better always better? A hunger built up in her throat as she found her way through the crowd. The things she had known all her life, and from which she had run, were familiar but not comforting. This new unknown was a hurting thing, but the abundance of the new life acted as a counterweight. She was not sure if she would ever forget her past pain, but perhaps her children would be spared.
  • Early Morning Meeting

    It was certainly long in coming, but they say that the best things take time. What "takes time" is the connection, and oddly enough, that had been the easy part. He hadn't even considered sharing his plans by starting at the top, but here he was, and this was his time. Spotting his contact across the room, he entered and presented his offering, which he hoped would be the first of many.
  • Afternoon Stroll

    Everything was new, and there was so much to see and hear. Jimmy had been talking to me and making faces, he was funny and made me laugh. Daddy said something and they both went away. Mommy was talking gently, I liked the sound of her voice the best. I followed her finger and way up high I could see a bird. I think the bird was singing for me and I liked it so I started laughing. As we moved away I watched the bird until I couldn't see it any longer.
  • Ten Minutes

    If she drew in the smoke very slowly, she could make the cigarette last almost ten minutes. That was ten minutes she didn't have to be in there. Ten minutes that were quiet, even as the traffic rushed by. When she was a little girl it never occurred to her that she might end up working here, turning those same pages over and over, replacing one book with another, then doing it again ... and again. She began to take inventory of her expectations, but looking down she realized that there was time for one more draw, then she would have to head back inside.

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