Garvin Smith is an accomplished, award winning industry veteran whose career spans more than fifty years as a Studio owner, Executive Producer, Creative Director, Industry Consultant, Commercial Photographer and Accomplished Fine Artist.
Graduating in 1978 from the George Washington University, Corcoran College of Art & Design and majoring in Visual Communications and Photography in Washington DC, Garvin received specialized training by recognized Masters of Photography and Theatrical lighting since the early years of his life. Not only have his fine art endeavors, photography, painting and drawings been exhibited in museums and galleries internationally, but numerous of his works can be found in international private collections.
With his first commercial job at the age of fourteen, Garvin’s love for photography stems from the intimate relationship he shared with his father as a child, instilling in him a love for black and white film and the candid capture of life’s moments.
Art school then continued to form a deeper understanding of photography for Garvin, who absorbed knowledge from important figures such as his professors Gene Davis and Tom Beck, as well as art world figures such as Andy Warhol, Morris Louis and Clement Greenberg. This said the cusp of Garvin’s distinct style would be consolidated through the work of three photographers in particular: Ansel Adams, Edward Weston and George Hurrell. Through Ansel Adams’ work, Garvin acquired the “pure” form of photography, accenting full tonal ranges of black and white, texture and vitality found within a landscape; through Edward Weston, Garvin found experimental display of form through soft-focus; through George Hurrell, a vibrant Hollywood glamor and contrasting portraiture.
For Garvin, a camera is not only a medium of cathartic release, but a tool; a tool of self-expression and a means of capturing nature’s complex creations, whether that be in landscape or bodily form. Light and lack thereof are the two main elements that drive the composition of Garvin’s work, creating frameworks that not only direct viewers to a main point of interest, but illustrating the personal relationship that the artist shares with the world around him: sensation and impression displayed through the intricate simplicity of form and purity of motion.
Maintaining a particular old school film thought process, the digital black and white works of Garvin focus on capturing his subjects through a lens of light and form, accenting beauty so as to create an illusion of mystery and evoke a deep emotional response within the spectator.