Josh Smith: The First Years

Tuesday, September 24 at 12:00pm 5:00pm more dates through September 29, 2019

Blue Sky Gallery / Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts 122 N.W. Eighth Ave., Portland, OR 97209

Josh Smith documents the changes—both monumental and subtle, internal and external, and positive and negative—that come with parenthood in his series The First Years. Acting as a “family historian,” he uses photography as a tool to examine a new way of being and to explore the many contradictions that can exist within a family. Smith’s intimate black-and-white photos of his wife and two sons “serve as place markers for intangible moments of elation, fear, and confusion.” 

“The unremitting demands of parenthood contained joy, tenderness, vulnerability, frustration and fear all at once. The weight of being fully needed by our children afforded us a sense of purpose, but also denied us our autonomy and individuality. As we worked to understand our intricate new roles as parents, our relationship shifted, resulting in a new connection, but also a sense of estrangement.”

By Oregon Arts Watch:

"California-based photographer Josh Smith presents a suite of black and white pictures he calls “an ongoing document of my expanding family,” depicting the artist’s wife and two young sons in quiet, everyday moments. The obvious affection in these slice-of-life images is tempered by unexpected compositions that often obscure subjects’ faces, and by the surreal glowing light that illuminates each scene. Instead of a one-dimensional, sentimental view of parenthood, “The First Years” conveys in equal parts the emotional rewards and the personal challenges of growing a family."

Event Type

Art & Design, Exhibition, Free

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