Art, Arts & Life

Be Nobody art show takes jab at fame

Cyrus Smith standing beside his work, displayed at the Deer & Almond restaurant in Winnipeg. Photo credit: Amber McGuckin.

A new art show poking fun at fame, by a locally famous artist, who now lives in Berlin, is opening this Friday at Lantern Gallery.

Cyrus Smith moved a few years ago, and is only temporarily back in Winnipeg. He’s been working alongside chef Mandel Hitzer at the Raw:Almond pop up restaurant located near the Forks on the frozen Red River. Smith’s show, Be Nobody, is a jab at the desire to become famous.

“I guess I make fun of myself in a sarcastic way. It’s the idea that every artist is chasing fame or do people just produce because they want to make art,” said Smith. “I’m making fun of the idea of chasing fame.”

One of the pieces, The (Secret) Trick to Becoming Famous, is a direct joke. It features the magician ball and cup trick.

“There is no secret trick. You sleep with a curator or the right person recognizes your work? If I knew the trick, I’d be super famous, too.”

Smith’s show runs for the month of February, and is only open Friday evenings from 6-10 p.m.

My name is Dory, by Cyrus Smith.
My name is Dory, by Cyrus Smith.


Paul Zacharias is one of two curators for the show at the Lantern art gallery. He said there will be 10 drawings and three large canvases at the show.

“They’re mostly collages. He works with layers like he’ll take an image he likes, cut it out and put it on a piece of paper or canvas, then he’ll use a bit of painting or drawing,” said Zacharias. “He seems to layer his mediums rather than just working in one medium for one drawing. He likes to mix it up a lot and it creates a great effect.”

Even though there may be a theme and direction for the show, Smith said there isn’t as much focus when he is creating art.

“I seem to have a really A-D-D process where I bounce around a lot in the studio, so I do a bunch of work at the same time,” he said.

I envy birds, by Cyrus Smith.
I envy birds, by Cyrus Smith.


Zacharias said he and his co-curator Perry Thompson weren’t too concerned with which pieces would go in the show.

“With Cyrus’ work it can be a bit of a trap to pick pieces that go well together because the colours are so brass and strong,” he said.

Winnipeggers might remember Smith from the local graffiti group 26/Two Sicks/Too Six.

“That group also did a lot of what they called nail bombing. This was back in the early 2000s. They would make artwork on wood and then they would nail them onto wooden surfaces in Winnipeg,” said Zacharias. “It’s nice because it’s a lot less destructive than graffiti on ancient limestone buildings that you need to sand off. You can pull them off with a nail and then you’ve got your own personal painting on wood.”

The Smith show will be the third seen in the new gallery at 211 Pacific Ave. after six months of renovations.