American artist Preston M. Smith, renowned as PMS in the art world, grappled with childhood cross-eyed vision and a lack of depth perception. These early challenges shaped the unique lens through which he now portrays the world as a painter.

Over time, Preston’s artistic evolution has taken him from moody pop surrealist canvases to a vibrant, tactile, and almost “delectable” abstract realm. His guiding principles in abstract art are “colour, texture, beauty, and decay,” a reflection of his journey from obscurity to enlightenment.

PMS painting

For Preston, painting serves as a visceral and cathartic outlet for his inner self and a poignant reflection of the human condition. He perceives himself as a conduit for conveying unfiltered, raw, and passionate emotions—an authentic expression that resonates with viewers who identify with these emotions within themselves. Art has personally acted as a healing tool during challenging phases of Preston’s life, making his creative process a voyage from “darkness into light.”

In his abstract pieces, his work transitions seamlessly from vibrant cosmic fluidity to intricate geometric abstraction. His obsession lies in the assembly and disintegration of beautiful forms, colour, and texture within his tactile oil paintings, where the medium itself possesses a powerful voice. His textures are lush, substantial, and some might even say, temptingly “palatable,” encouraging viewers to engage their tactile senses.

Preston revels in the notion of transience, understanding that forms, including his own artwork, will inevitably transform over time. His boundless wellspring of inspiration derives from music, literature, movies, and everyday experiences, fueling his creativity and enabling his ideas to adapt and evolve. This relentless pursuit of growth and creativity led him to establish his own podcast—The Living Artist.

Preston’s work has graced prestigious venues, sharing space with luminaries like David Lynch and making a significant impact at the Inaugural Purple Ball during President Obama’s 2009 inauguration, where he was commissioned to create 12 portraits of the President. More recently, he enjoyed a triumphant solo exhibition at ShockBoxx Gallery in Hermosa Beach, California, and made notable appearances at the LA Art Show in Downtown Los Angeles. His artistic prowess garnered recognition as a winner in the 1st 2018 ArtSlant Artprize Showcase, as well as featured displays at the renowned La Luz De Jesus Gallery and numerous exhibitions across Los Angeles and the nation.

Preston’s work currently holds a place of honor in the prestigious Art In Embassies program and has been immortalized in a documentary short titled “Negativity To Creativity.” His art resides in over 500 private collections spanning 25 countries, including those of prominent celebrities such as Ed Harris, Ashley Judd, and Patricia Arquette.

Connect with Preston M. Smith

Instagram | Website

One thought on “Preston M. Smith: Creating the Discernable from the Abstract

  1. Deb Miller says:

    Wonderful article about a fascinating artist! I love Preston and his work, and I always tune in to his podcasts which are well worth taking time to absorb.

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