Casey Jex Smith received a BFA in Painting from Brigham Young University and an
MFA in Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute. He currently resides in Provo,
Utah with his wife and fellow artist Amanda Smith and their two children. His art has been exhibited at The Drawing Center (NYC), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (SF), Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UT), and Spring Break (LA). His work has been featured in Art Review Magazine, The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, Rhizome.org, Wired.com, ArtMaze Mag, New American Paintings, and Bloomberg.com.
I use the structures of role-play-gaming and religious ritual to create allegorical drawings. Leveling up, fantastical landscape, quest items, mythical beasts, and battles are used to mirror real life scenarios where the individual looking for meaning and purpose is manipulated, controlled, or squashed by a superior force. I contrast the reward system in gaming that is finely tuned to balance work with pleasure to the reward system of global capitalism that can feel arbitrary and cruel. My drawings are fantasy power simulations.
My visual style draws largely from the study of master etchings, Dungeons & Dragons manuals, isometric turn-based video games, scriptural narratives, Where’s Waldo, and indie comics.