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Double Solitaire

duo show by Fred Smith & Dustin Brown

26.05.23 - 16.06.23

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“Double Solitaire” is the title of the two person exhibition that showcases together for the first time a series of paintings by Dustin Brown and Fred Smith, two artists and close friends that share their studio in Charlotte (North Carolina), where they develop their respective works.  


Drawing inspiration from the alliance between Yves Tangui and Kay Sage, whose artistic affiliation ultimately led them to have a joint exhibition at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in 1954, “Double Solitaire” serves as a metaphor for Dustin Brown and Fred Smith's unique relationship as they interact and influence each other as artists, but also as friends. Through their body of work, Dustin and Fred explore the nature of their collaboration, where the two artists work together yet separately, constantly involving each other's perspectives. Through the visual narratives of their paintings, visitors gain insight into the identities and creative processes of both artists. Although they share similar ideas and emotions, Dustin and Fred approach their art in very distinct ways, supporting and influencing each other while also maintaining their individuality.


Dustin's artworks incorporate subtle aesthetics and pastel colors to depict challenging moments in the construction of personal identity. Through Dustin's rose-colored lens, these difficulties are transformed into positive experiences. His art delves into the human quest for purpose and the obstacles that compel us to question our desires. Symbolism such as yellow flowers, human hands and feet, and brown boots recur throughout his work, representing the invaluable insights and conclusions we gain from life's trials. With his signature soft colors and floral motifs, Dustin portrays the highs and lows of self-discovery. 


In contrast, Fred takes a more unconventional approach and focuses on constructing parallel views to reality. In his quest to create the best possible work, the artist embraces a raw stage of painting, focusing on the knowledge and investigation of image creation rather than the pressure of achieving a polished finalized image. He emphasizes the dynamic nature of his paintings, prioritizing the vitality and fluidity of the artwork over stability or completion. Captivated by the physical and mental act of image-making and sculpture, Fred's discipline, dedication, and willingness to reinvent himself based on intuition and emotion shine through in his paintings and sculptures. In his work, he challenges and processes his own thoughts, captivating viewers with his obsession for the act of creation.


In “Double Solitaire”, Dustin Brown and Fred Smith explore their individual journeys as artists while showcasing the powerful impact they have on each other's work. The exhibition is a celebration of collaboration, exploration, and the boundless possibilities that arise when two unique artistic voices converge. 


Fred Smith (US, 1987) lives and works in Charlotte, North Carolina. Self-taught, his work currently focuses on the production of painting and sculpture. 


In his work, Smith dissects and questions the social impositions, guidelines and norms that frame our collective environment through a universe of his own based on recreating unreal situations in his pictorial compositions. Through a metaphorical use of the representation of reality, Fred focuses on constructing a critical framework that, through the use of humor and irony, reflects on our popular beliefs and the universal truths that guide our daily lives. 


A selection of his exhibitions include solo shows at Long Story Short (Los Angeles) and Moosey (Norwich), and group shows at Better Go South (Stuttgart), Seefood Room (Hong Kong), and Collaborations (Copenhagen).



Dustin Brown (US, 1995) lives and works in Charlotte, North Carolina.


In his work, Dustin references transitional moments in the construction of personal identity. Through the use of subtle aesthetics and the use of pastel colors, the artist seeks to transform these difficult periods into a positive experience. Dustin defines his painting as an exploratory process in the human search for purpose and the obstacles that make us question our desires and life goals. Recurring symbols in his work include yellow flowers, human hands and feet, and brown boots, which function as symbols of lessons learned from complex obstacles. Using his signature soft colors, Dustin depicts in his work the ups and downs of someone pursuing the search for their life path.


His work has been exhibited internationally in venues such as Weserhalle (Berlin), Seefood Room (Hong Kong), Aout Gallery (Beirut) and Fir Gallery (Beijing), among others.

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