Josh Smith


The First Years

September 5–29, 2019

Artist Talk: Friday, September 6, 12:00 PM

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.”

Josh Smith was born in Springfield, Missouri. He earned his MFA in photography from the San Francisco Art Institute, and has been living and working in the Bay Area since 2004. Throughout his career he has explored various photographic projects, with his most recent being a body of work exploring the dynamics of family. Smith has exhibited widely within the Bay Area and beyond, including at Stanford University, the a.Muse gallery in San Francisco, and SF Art Market. Smith is a photography instructor at Marin Academy and resides in Pacifica, California with his wife and two sons.

2019Blue SkyJosh Smith