Nothing at the Minimum: A Review Zak Smith’s Maximum Everything Always Art Opening

First off Zak did not ask, plead, beg, threaten, coerce, bribe, beat, or blackmail me in anyway to do this review.  Now that is out of the way, let us move on.  Second I have never done an art review, so if I fuck this up, make some weird faux pas, or whatever..  then fuck all and forgive me….  Anyways…

ON TO THE REVIEW- The Epic Scale of Awesome.

Zak 2

Many in the RPG community (and outside it, for obvious reasons), know that Zak S. is a kick ass artist.  I have enjoyed his art since I discovered his blog and his awesome RPG book, Vornheim.  So it was with no small amount of excitement that I went to his art opening yesterday at Fredericks & Freiser in NYC.

My girlfriend and I arrived at the gallery at 6 and was greeted by Zak and Mandy.  Both were immediately friendly and welcoming (and also very busy greeting and mingling with everyone who was milling around).  That was a bonus to them, as there was no pretentiousness or “too cool for school” attitude that can sometimes permeate these type of events.

Zak 1
Oh yeah… You can see this there… You just have to get off your ass and go.

After meeting them briefly I dove right in and started looking around the room taking in Zak’s art.  And let me tell you, there is SO MUCH to take in.  A common phrase with art is “pictures don’t do it justice.  It loses something when you can’t see it right in front of you.”  That is no less true with Zak’s work.  The amount of detail in his art is staggering.  Zak goes from minute detail in one frame of a piece, to an effortless simplicity in the next- but that isn’t to say that it is diminished.  On the contrary Zak’s use of colors or framing in those places only set to enhance the rest of the work, and in some ways give a side of whimsy (which I’m sure Zak will hate me for using such a word and associating it with his work).

Zak’s choice of colors and how he manipulates them in contrast to the the black and white portions of his art is impressive.  The way he saturates his colors and makes them vibrate is very enjoyable and really makes his pieces pop and come to life.  The picture below is a perfect example of his use of colors (I love the ashtray in the lower right corner).

Zak 3

A piece that I have enjoyed since he first posted it on his tumblr (because the sheer detail in it is mind-fucking-boggling) was at the gallery (see the piece below).  Seeing this piece in person was really amazing.  You can appreciate the detail of his art from a computer, but you can’t take in all the little nuances of it.  Angie and I must have stared at this piece for a good 10-15 minutes, come back to it, stare again, and find something new.

Zak 4

On to Nerdalacious Things

As I was yaking with Zak, he took me over to a piece in a corner and proudly pointed out that it was the art that would be in his upcoming Alice in Wonderland module: Eat Me.  I really enjoyed seeing Zak’s interpretations of one of my favorite stories of all time which at that point I had to prove my street cred and show Zak my Jabberwocky and Alice at the Trail of Cards tattoos.

So on that front I am really curious and excited to see what Zak does with the adventure (especially because Zak tends to view modules like I do, unusable blocks of text and exposition).

Will you, won't you... join the dance.
Will you, won’t you… join the dance.

At the End of the Journey

While looking at the art two gorgeous women in appreciatively tight dresses were walking amongst the views offering them tasty glazed donuts!  What is NOT to like about that!

I had a great time view some truly awesome art and getting to finally meet Zak in person.

Zak’s art show will be going on for a month.  Do yourself a favor and get your ass to Mars (or Fredericks and Freiser) and see his awesome art!

Author: wrathofzombie

I am a History major attending a community college until I can get more financial aid and attend a four year school. I am living in NJ with my girlfriend who is currently wrapping up on obtaining her PhD in Toxicology. I love Star Wars, Role-playing, video games, working out, reading, writing, and hanging with my girlfriend, dog (Perfect), and two kittens (Birch and Brambles). My main focus on this site will be my discussion of Role-playing games and ideas and hopefully contribute something worth a damn.

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