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Over the last 2 years I have run into the work of Arthur Raymond Smith.

The first time I saw it I recognized the painting on the house as belonging to a pattern of expression one finds in “naive” artists.

Junk in the trunk

I was reminded of the work of Don Eduardo, an artist who lives in San Miguel de Allende where I used to live. When I first met Don Eduardo it was in the early 90’s and he was living in a hovel on the grounds of an old tattered colonial home in the center of town. He told me that he used to work in a factory in Mexico City chroming bumpers. I imagine that this build up of chrome did some serious damage to Don Eduardo’s health.

Don Eduardo

You can see there is a more restrained quality to the sculptural works of Don Eduardo but his dwelling was filled with more insistent marks which included covering his entire wardrobe with marks.

My husband, Jon Schooler exhibited with Do Eduardo in the mid 90’s and it was one of the more interesting pairings I have ever seen.

Don Eduardo

The shared language of these 2 artists is most interesting because you know there is no formal ability to share artistic language and that the impulse comes from a deeper automatic place.

The house on Music St has since been demolished by the City of New Orleans, but you can still see Arthur’s work at the Carrollton cemetery.

Arthur Raymond Smith

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About Karen Gadbois

Karen Gadbois co-founded The Lens. She now covers New Orleans government issues and writes about land use for Squandered Heritage. For her work with television reporter Lee Zurik exposing widespread misuse of city recovery funds — which led to guilty pleas in federal court — Gadbois won some of the highest honors in journalism, including a Peabody Award, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award and a gold medal from Investigative Reporters and Editors. She can be reached at (504) 606-6013.

  • Bari Landry

    I am more familiar with his work at Holt Cemetery, where he decorates the graves of his mother and aunt. In the years that I tended to Holt Cemetery with Save Our Cemeteries, our first instructions to every volunteer group was to “look but do not touch, and CERTAINLY do not remove anything” from the grave.