Charlie Smyth

Born in Chicago, IL

Lives & works in Nashville, TN

Charlie started drawing from an early age, at which point, his elementary teachers noticed he stood out from his peers. He was especially drawn to images inspired by religious symbolism, particulary Christian and Catholic imagery. In middle school he discovered Marquis de Sade and realized their visions aligned, despite the philosopher pre-existing him by 200 years. The young artist had found a confidante.


Charlie attended the University of Illinois at Chicago and studied studio arts with an emphasis on sculpture. While there, he was greatly influenced by his art professor, Morris Barazani. Barazani taught Charlie that art was "cutting your heart out and putting it on a kitchen table". For the first time, Charlie thought of being an artist as a way of existing. Barazani also introduced Charlie to Paul Klee's works, which inspired with their subtlety.

A series of moves starting in Seattle, then on to New York, Melbourne, Portland, OR, Berlin, and eventually, Nashville, followed.

30 years after being taught by Morris Barazani, Charlie continues to pursue abstract painting as a path to "Truth" as it was expressed to him by Barazani.



1986 - 1990 University of Illinois, Chicago, Studio Arts/Sculpture