CODAK "Love Letters for the Dearly Forgotten #6" Painting. Mixed media on paper / Staedtler 2h pencil, acrylic, aerosol, found ephemera and collage paper. measures 15x20. Accomplished in 2013.
CODAK first touched earth in Stillwater, Oklahoma, received misinformation and miseducation in Portland, Oregon, followed family roots from the northwest throughout the mid-west, and landed back on the left-coast in Los Angeles. From a family background in architecture and interior design, Adam Smith/Codak developed a fascination with "line" - its quality, ambiguity, and emotion. From early experiences of doodling his favorite comic book characters and falling off his skateboard and riding the bus, Codak would find himself drawn to graffiti and its artistic interaction with the urban landscape. He first noticed the random symbols of "Zely," a graffiti writer active in the mid to late 80's in his native Portland. Followed shortly by exposure to Spraycan Art (Henry Chalfant & James Prigoff, 1987) and a group or writers from Los Angeles, Codak was set on the path that got him where he is today.
Codak’s work is defined by an acute sense of how to utilize space and composition in an organic fashion. The artist utilizes a constructed approach within a mixed media base when working abstractly or with subject matter. Layers represent the passing of time and an emotional context from the lighthearted to sadness. Mixed use of materials adds to the works depth and the artist’s ability to adapt to the confines of different mediums. The process of creating for the artist is a highly personal and transient meditative experience. Quite correctly, Codak is either exercising his demons or expressing his joy as well as his contempt through his work. The experience of beginning with no set end in sight is vital to the freedom found in the work. Very accurately beginning in the chaos of the unknown and ending in the security of the structured and defined, Codak employs the subtle use of color intermixed with line work that has been described as resembling “muscle stretched across bone” and “malevolent ivy.” He creates harmonious clashes with graphic design and street art. Though he is most known and respected in the world of “street art,” his work spans across fields, as he pulls from his childhood exposure to architecture, modern art, and interior design, as well as his studies in graphic design. Because of this, his work becomes relatable on multiple levels. In the last several years, amidst his constant evolution as an artist, his ability to incorporate these different influences into a cohesive whole has become more relevant. Codak’s resume continues to expand as he works with clients such as Pabst Blue Ribbon, Red Bull, NOKIA, The Sanrio Corporation (Hello Kitty), MGA Entertainment, JSLV Apparel, Pepsi Street Motion, Fat Possum Records, DUB Magazine and many others, as well as showing his work all over the world from the major cities in the United States to Montreal, Ireland, London, and Slovakia.
Cans have been emptied, paint brushes have been abused, markers overfilled, pencils broken, buff paint spilled, computer screens burned out, hard drives fried....... and still in hot pursuit of progression.