Matt Smiley Unveils His Exhibition ‘Work in Progress: Emotions’ at 1 Hotel West Hollywood

Image Credit: Alexandra Hryshyn

Contemporary artist Matt Smiley unveiled his latest exhibition at 1 Hotel West Hollywood, titled “Work in Progress: Emotions,” on November 30. The work being featured is a representation of Matt’s “smiley symbolism.” The exhibit will be open to the entire public from December 1 to February 2024. 

“In this series of paintings, I am exploring the complexity of human emotions through the lens of smiley symbolism,” Matt explained. “The smiley face, often synonymous with happiness, becomes a powerful tool to delve into the myriad emotions that define the human experience. My paintings aim to capture the nuanced and contradictory nature of our emotions.”

Matt’s art showcases a rich palette of bold colors, dynamic brushstrokes, and layered textures. His work encompasses a variety of different unique stories, with each canvas giving viewers a chance to reflect on their own emotions and understand the deeper complexity within them. 

Alexandra Hryshyn

The innovative artist is also a filmmaker who incorporates a mix of imaginative characters, vivid colors, and automatic writing into his work. In addition to his influential canvas art, Matt is also passionate about making documentary films and raising awareness of social causes. His 2014 documentary, Highway of Tears, focused on the 16 women who went missing along Highway 16 in British Columbia. 

Matt’s first solo exhibition was held in 2017 and was titled “Dreams Fizzle into Space,” which showcased a 32-piece Warholian “Smiley” Soup Can collection. The following year, he held his “Lessons in History” exhibit at the L.A. Art Show.  

A portion of the proceeds for Matt’s exhibition will be given to the non-profit organization TreePeople, which is dedicated to sustainable forestry and environmental education. The organization plants and cares for trees throughout forests, parks, mountainous areas, and residential neighborhoods and works with students and researchers to propel the environment forward. Whether it be forest fires or community food insecurity, TreePeople takes the time to donate and plant trees to help the surrounding environment. 


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