Intellectual property of Patrick Smith, original artworks used for non-commercial purposes by HEL MORT®.
“Why showcase weird, tasteless art?
I realize that because I’m over 50, a conservative and a Christian, my analysis of the Lexington art scene is probably null and void to the Art League and Herald-Leader editors. But what the heck was the purpose or goal of a bizarre, scary, tattooed bald man puckered up in full color in a sheer top on the front page of the Living Section on Jan. 25? The whole article about a nude exhibition reeked of artistic character way off the rails of good taste. “Blurring the lines between human and animal,” one exhibit boasted. I’ve been to art galleries in large cities and small cities. This particular setup was just weird.
Letters to the editor against Patrick Smith on Lexington Herald-Leader
Dear Mr. J.D. Mackey, we are the HEL MORT® team. We have no idea who you are, and we haven’t visited the exhibition. However, today we are writing a new review about a “bizarre, scary, tattooed bald man puckered up in full color in a sheer top” named Patrick Smith, and we want to tell you something from the beginning: we love him. We love his art, his style, everything about him, and we especially love him because he scandalized you. Before we start, we want to apologize to our followers if this review is different than usual. Additionally, Mr. J.D. Mackey, we want to help you learn a little bit about the history of art, society, and human psychology during this reading. We understand that these are usually considered boring topics, but with a little bit of understanding, they can really help you decipher what is going on in a world that you may not fully understand anymore. Another important premise: We are all Europeans at HEL MORT®, and we absolutely know that we have certain advantages over other Western countries. We also understand that some citizens outside Europe, especially in the USA, may be ignorant about certain values present in the art world because they don’t have the same amount of museums and history available throughout Europe. We are not saying that the USA doesn’t have art, museums or history, as we love the magnificent museums in the USA and its history. However, it is widely known that in the USA, you can’t find artworks made yesterday, as well as artworks made in ancient Greece, the Victorian Era, or prehistory like here. Here in Europe, you can walk on any street in any big city or village and see layers of history accumulating one on top of the other, influencing our view of life, society, art, and everything in between. What we are trying to say is that it is much easier for us to understand certain ideal concepts about art than for other young countries like the USA, Australia, etc., where it must be studied in a specific school. We say this without trying to subdue you to think that Europe is the perfect continent or that our culture is superior to yours because we absolutely don’t think this. As we have said many times in our reviews, we think of the USA as our brothers because we have a lot in common. Additionally, the USA is a particularly unique place on earth that can be considered the epicenter of every culture in the world, especially in 2023. In conclusion, we would like to address the importance of each of the negative words you used against Patrick Smith, in order to teach you some new perspectives and introduce you to art history and values. Doing this, we hope to exalt, in the best possible way, the quality of this incredible artist called Patrick Smith that people like you should consider as probably one of the most representative icons for the USA and the whole Western culture, including Europe. You said “I’m over 50” as if being over 50 makes you different. However, in 2023, people are living longer than any other generation that has appeared on earth, so being over 50 is not an excuse to play the role of a poor old man in front of a new generation of incomprehensible youngsters with a strange culture and lifestyle. You are not considered poor, but just not very young and reaching midlife. As our grandparents lived until the age of 100, maybe your generation will be the first to live until 120. You are the same age as a great part of the parents of the HEL MORT® team, and in many cases, you are younger than them. You are a Gen X person, one of the people who lived some of the best years of human history and experienced the most incredible revolutions of mankind. You were among the first to say no to the Vietnam War, the Cold War, and the Berlin Wall. You were among the first to go against your parents and say “we don’t like the old world anymore.” You made revolutions, used the first computers, said yes to divorce, and helped invent the 70s, 80s, and 90s with their crazy explosion of colors, inclusion, new music genres, great events, and artistic resonance. So, it’s surprising that someone who lived and made possible the success of eclectic musical bands like The Beatles, Queen, Led Zeppelin, Eagles, Gloria Gaynor, Bee Gees, Abba, Elton John, Pink Floyd, and Rolling Stones would attack a person like Patrick Smith. Do you think that Freddie Mercury or Elton John weren’t different than him? You were a person who lived during punk, disco, Eurobeat, New Wave, synthpop, metal, glam rock, grunge, alt-rock, and Britpop era and you attack Patrick Smith? Open your mind and try to remember your favorite musicians. You liked them because they were rebels, because they were different, because they used to do and say things that other boring artists from old generations never used to say. They were charged with a different energy that made you feel alive. And that’s Patrick Smith, a persona charged with a different energy, not just a painter but an artist. Making a painting doesn’t just mean throwing some colors on a canvas, but it means being someone different, being a person with a personality. Someone who wants to express and share their personal thoughts with the masses. Some people use music, others films, and some use paintings to do it. Patrick is one of these people. He’s trying to revolutionize your ideas, he’s trying to give a punch to an old way of thinking, and including a new way to think about gender, sexuality, culture, society, and self-expression thanks to his skills. Patrick is a rebel. He could have thought like many others and not followed this dangerous path, but he chose to confront himself with the world, and that’s what makes him a champion. It’s very easy to paint an apple, but instead, he decided to paint himself in his most vulnerable way, showing himself to the world as he is, as a real person, without any mask. And this is what a true rebel does, like The Beatles, Queen, Led Zeppelin, Eagles, Gloria Gaynor, Bee Gees, Abba, Elton John, Pink Floyd, and Rolling Stones did. Do you think it was easy for Patrick to show himself as “a bizarre, scary, tattooed bald man puckered up in full color in a sheer top”? Don’t you think that before putting this artwork in front of your eyes and showing himself so spiritually naked, he must have feared people’s reactions and ideas? We live in a world where being bald, fat, short, ginger, or being gay, transgender is considered a problem. We live in a world where if you don’t dress like others, you’re not considered serious, and if you don’t wear a jacket and tie, you can’t be considered professional. Now, imagine taking this painting and changing the self-portrait to a different Patrick. Imagine having in front of you the portrait of a tall, perfectly muscular Patrick, with very tanned and perfect skin, squared jaws, perfectly curated hair, wearing a shiny regular jacket with a powerful tie bought for $20,000 from Gucci. Would you like him more? We think not, because all you would have is just another boring portrait of another human, similar to millions of other humans that we see every single day in our offices and in life. This person is absolutely boring; he has nothing to say, he’s just showing you how perfect he is and how “fake” he is. This is the most important point about Patrick Smith: he is showing you and all of us the reality of real humans in 2023. We are all overweight. Please don’t believe for a moment that we are not overweight because the truth is that in the Western world, we are all overweight. We are sedentary, always sitting on our couches watching TV or sitting in our cars, and our bellies are a perfect representation of the affluent side of the world, where people can afford to eat more because of the discovery of technologies and laws that have made everyone richer than those living under the tyranny of warlords, as is happening right now in Somalia, where people are dying due to a lack of food. Therefore, Patrick is not only exposing his personal aspect but also the aspect of thousands and thousands of us. I know we all like to think of ourselves as the muscular guy or the stunning girl in our favorite movies, but those are just movies and not reality. The reality is that we are always too short, too fat, too skinny, or too something to be perfect. Therefore, in any painting made by Patrick, you can see the true reality of our society. This is not just limited to his self-portraits but extends to all the portraits he creates, where men, women, and anyone else who appears in his incredible works of art are represented with their true bodies, no veils, no fakery, just us, with all our extra weight or less weight, too fat or too skinny for this world, just like real humans are. Another important point about Patrick’s way of depicting humans in this way is that he is documenting our era for future generations. One day, perhaps in the 2300s, people may ask, “How did people live in 2023?” They will find numerous Instagram pictures where everyone appears perfect, but a historian may say, “Wait, we want to see the real people, not these fake shots.” They will use a selection of paintings from the era, as we do today in history-related jobs, to accurately describe an era when people were different, perhaps full of errors, but also fascinating. This is much like how we view the ancient Romans, ancient Egyptians, or any other ancient population thanks to their portraits. Therefore, the work of Patrick Smith is not just about “painting,” but rather, as we mentioned before, about reporting the true face of society. If you are scared by the way his subjects are dressed, perhaps in a very fetish or LGBTQ way for your tastes, it is important to understand that he is representing what is really happening everywhere, from the USA to Canada, South America, and throughout Europe. There is a real sexual revolution underway to integrate LGBTQ people as part of society. For the last 2000 years, they were excluded and forced to live in secret. Every news article on the internet and social media is discussing this topic, and LGBTQ rights are at the forefront of people’s minds. Yes, there are many other topics in our day, but nothing inflames people as much as this topic. Therefore, Patrick is speaking the language of his times, showing the tension of his era, much like how Leonardo da Vinci painted battles in the background of his artworks, showing the tensions of the Renaissance, or how Turner included a train in his landscape painting “Rain, Steam, and Speed,” depicting the arrival of the industrial revolution, the hottest topic of his time. This is proof that Patrick is a great artist because he is following a Western tradition of painting facts instead of religious subjects only, as always happened in other cultures outside the Western world. He is the son, the grandnephew of Leonardo and Turner, and many other artists, continuing a tradition that was born in ancient Greece a long time ago! You mentioned that you are a conservative and a Christian, but this is not a valid reason to disregard or misunderstand Patrick’s work. In fact, Patrick is continuing one of the oldest traditions in our shared Western culture. We can even consider him to be the most conservative person on earth, as he chooses to use traditional painting techniques with brushes and canvas, just as people did in medieval Europe and even in earlier times as far back as the prehistoric era. Despite the passage of time, his approach to art remains the same, preserving an old way of thinking and creating that is unique and valuable. As a true conservative, you should appreciate and exalt a person like Patrick rather than attacking him. And about Christianity? Please, let’s remember that we are in Europe and here there’s Rome, the heart of Christianity. In the Sistine Chapel, we have depictions of naked people flying around above our heads, and the most famous depiction of Adam touching the finger of God in person is completely naked. Donatello’s David is also completely naked in front of tourists from all over the world, and no one has ever said “it’s too much.” And if you are maybe a Protestant, I’m sorry, but as Europeans, we can show you thousands of famous art pieces from the Protestant world that depict naked people as the perfect example of what we’re talking about. Van Gogh, an authentic Protestant son of a minister, created some of the most beautiful nude artworks in art history, as did Munch, whose Madonna depicts a completely naked Holy Mary, not unlike how Patrick portrays his subjects in his artwork. So this is not a problem connected with religion, but a problem made by personal discomfort in front of a naked person. We apologize if we may have been a little harsh in saying this. We always receive complaints from Americans about nudity in art, but never from other places in the Western world. The problem is that there is something wrong with American society if it cannot accept the fact that humans can be depicted naked. As Europeans, we do not understand this because we always ask ourselves, “Why are Americans so afraid of a nipple, the same nipple that fed them when they were babies, instead of being more afraid of a murderer shooting kids in an elementary school? Why are they not afraid that people die every day in the USA because they have no way to get free healthcare? Why are they so afraid of nudity instead of being scared to death of these crazy, disgusting, horrible, and scary situations?” We are saying this without considering ourselves superior because we are Europeans and we know we also have a lot of problems and bad behavior and politics here in Europe, just like in the USA and elsewhere in the world. However, this little big strange attitude to attack art, movies, and whatever because it shows a naked person is what really scares us about America, because it is senseless and typical of some Americans. So it’s not something connected with Christianity because, as we showed you before, there are also Christians here, and they do not act in the same way; they accept nudity, and most importantly, they understand that nudity in art does not represent eroticism or pornography, but it represents the true nature of the individual. In fact, this is what Patrick is doing – showing us as we truly are, with no clothes on, no lies, no fiction, no drama, just the truth. The same truth that you should understand as a Christian because in the Bible, Adam and Eve only dressed after they ate the apple given by Satan himself. So it’s like if some people have never eaten this apple, and Patrick is one of these people. In his weird naked paintings, he’s clean, he’s pure more than us, you, or whoever pretends that the world should be clothed to hide something embarrassing. He can see, in fact, the world as only people with a child’s soul can see it, and not like an adult who can only see sexual acts and pornography behind it. On behalf of the HEL MORT® team, we would like to respond to your comment about art galleries where you said, “I’ve been to art galleries in large cities and small cities. This particular setup was just weird.” As an official European art brand and gallery, we believe that the galleries you visited were fake and run by people who have no knowledge of art if they do not showcase artists like Patrick Smith. It is courageous, original, and pure artists like Patrick who deserve to be exhibited in every art gallery and museum. In a world where there is unfortunately too much amateurish art on display, it is artists like Patrick Smith who do the hard work of creating true art that has something to say, something to express. So, this is our conclusion regarding your review of Patrick Smith’s art. We believe that Patrick is an incomparable talent who knows how to paint from his heart and soul. He possesses a spiritual disposition to show the world as it truly is, with the courage to expose what is wrong with society, our limits, our fear of what is different, and our reluctance to rebel against the rules that we follow blindly. Patrick reveals the true face of our civilization and our era through powerful, naked bodies that express a person’s quest for freedom in a world of cages and prisons that exist in our minds. We cannot get rid of these mental constraints because we are too cowardly and arrogant to sit down and listen to Patrick’s perspective on the world.
Here at HEL MORT®, we believe in Patrick Smith talent and we listen him with our eyes, mind, spirit, and heart, and we encourage you to do the same checking out Patrick Smith’s art and experience the punch of a rebellious mind trapped in a world too small for his big, free soul.