Jacob Joseph Smith


“I’ve always had an interest in what we are, and why we are. This may be a never- ending search for answers, but painting feels to me like a way of at least framing the most interesting questions.” - JJS

As well as possessing exceptional creativity, imagination and talent, Jacob Joseph Smith is an artist with attitude. While his work explores the colours, tropes and devices associated with pop art, it expands on these ideas in an intriguing and unusual way. Interested in the idea of impermanence, existence versus non-existence, he combines the playfulness of pop with traditional gothic elements, making him one of the most fascinating and original artists at work in the UK.

Jacob’s work reflects his eclectic influences, from Ancient Greek sculpture to the power of myths in a modern age. Although these may seem disparate, they are linked by their interest in symbolism and the way they tap into the archetypal imagery of our collective unconscious. Each piece is created as a story that invites us to enter uncharted territory and embrace a new vision of life as we know it, or as we thought we did.

Jacob builds up layer upon layer of colour, shape and texture by hand using oil paints to create meditative imagery in which the macabre is juxtaposed with the bright and the beautiful in a vignette which seems both ancient and modern.


Born in Scotland in 1981, Jacob studied Fine Art at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, University of Dundee and is now based in the South West. His father is an artist, and growing up with a fully functioning studio connected to his house encouraged him to experiment with paint from a young age. He loved the technical challenge it gave him, along with a sense of personal freedom: “ like a free climber standing at the bottom of a rock face - the uncertainty of it, trying to make something new every time, always just a little more distance from your comfort zone, swimming out just that bit further so your feet can’t touch the bottom. To me that is the creative process, your best work is done when you’re a little out of your depth.”