Exploring the Strange Ephemera of Experimental Filmmaker Jack Smith

An incredible creative force in experimental cinema who inspired everyone from Warhol to John Waters, Jack Smith is considered a pioneer of America’s post-war underground scene — and yet he was largely unknown outside of the art world in his lifetime. “He was really part of this milieu that was trying to break out of any notion of convention, and they did it when they were dirt poor,” Joshua Siegel, an associate curator at MoMA, has explained. “It is one of the great ironies, maybe even tragic ironies, that Jack Smith today is so coveted because at the time I think none of these artists were given the respect they were due.”

Beginning on February 14, Boo-Hooray is staging an exhibition of his handbills, posters, photographs, letters, artwork, and collages; the show is just a starting point for work on a major illustrated book devoted to Smith due out next winter. Click through to preview some of the pieces that will be on display, and if you’re in New York, head to the gallery to check out the work in person through March 10.

Image credit: Jack Smith, courtesy of Boo-Hooray