Jeffrey Smart

Jeffrey Smart
Cahill Expressway

Creation date: 1962

Music composed by Martin Kay

When asked about the meaning of his work, Smart would often insist he was only interested in geometry and composition. In 1999 he said: ‘The truth is I put figures in mainly for scale … The fat man in the dark suit, in various guises, is in many of my paintings, because a strong black vertical rectangle with a bald head is a lovely shape.’ Yet the mysterious one-armed subject and deserted urban setting invite more imaginative interpretations. This figure has been linked to the modernist poet TS Eliot’s character J Alfred Prufrock as well as to the English film director, producer, and screenwriter, Alfred Hitchcock, who often featured himself as a cameo in his own films.

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