Like everyone, everything has a story. I am attracted to the way a particular character’s overall appearance or an object’s function can be used metaphorically to tell a story or symbolize an idea. My work addresses themes of man vs. nature, man vs. man, and the absurd and perilous trials and tribulations of contemporary life. But I am not entirely cynical or even pessimistic. Instead, I have taken a satirical approach inspired by fairy tales, stories like Alice in Wonderland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the slapstick humor of 1930’s and 50’s cartoons. Within a world of great beauty and wonderment, danger and despair lurk behind every corner. All this rolled up into a ball and adhered with a thick polymer of the daily news. My aim is to evoke a giggle and a cringe and perhaps a little déjà vu. “Don’t fear the incoming bomber squadron . . . think of all the pretty lights that will follow.”
As an undergraduate in the B.F.A. Program at Sonoma State University in the early 90's, William worked as a teaching assistant to printmakers Kurt Kemp and Shane Weare. In addition to his studies at SSU, he collaborated as supporting and lead printer to many artists in residency at Aurobora Press in San Francisco.
In 1996, William attended the M.F.A. Program at the University of West Virginia where he worked as a teaching assistant to printmakers Carmen Colangelo, Sergio Soave and Chris Hocking as well as teaching his own drawing courses. In 1998, after completing his graduate studies, William returned to the San Francisco Bay Area to continue working at Aurobora Press as well as teaching drawing and printmaking at SSU and Santa Rosa Junior College.
William Smith has shown throughout the United States and participated in a traveling exhibition in Brazil. His printshop/ studio is located in Santa Rosa, CA. William continues to exhibit his works on paper, teach at Santa Rosa Junior College and collaborate with artists at Aurobora Press.