You Might Find a Jaden Smith Painting Outside a Los Angeles Art Gallery

The actor reveals a hidden love for making art. And a love for hiding art.

Jaden Smith. Courtesy of Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images.
Jaden Smith. Courtesy of Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images.

The latest celebrity to dabble in making contemporary art is Jaden Smith—and he’s going about it in quite an usual way. Rather than seeking official representation, Smith has been dropping off his paintings outside Los Angeles art galleries, and alerting his fans about the potential free art on Twitter, reports the Fader.

Smith’s first Tweet, posted on February 23, revealed a narrow black canvas featuring the phrase “Will you die with me” written across a white band on the upper third of the painting. The opus was left outside the Hamilton-Selway Fine Art Gallery in West Hollywood.

“I Just Left My Art Piece Here, Come Get It,” Smith invited.

Within the hour, a  young man named Kevin Doan had responded with a photograph of himself holding the painting, writing “THANK U.”

The following day, Smith shared a photo of another, smaller white work propped up against a stop sign outside Living Spaces in Panorama City, a furniture store. “I Hope You Enjoy It And Have A Good Day,” he wrote, asking only that “Whoever Has It Take A Picture.”

The 18 year old is the son of actors Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith, and rose to prominence as a child actor in such films as The Pursuit of Happiness in 2006 and the The Karate Kid remake. In 2016, Smith became the new face of Louis Vuitton and attracted considerable attention for modeling in women’s clothes and sporting on-trend gender-bending attire off the runway as well.

Speculation has it that Smith may have been inspired to tap into his artsier side by fellow former child actor Shia LaBeouf, who with his partners Nastja Säde Rönkkö and Luke Turner initiated a planned four-year anti-Donald Trump performance piece, titled HE WILL NOT DIVIDE US (2017), at New York’s Museum of Moving Image in January.

Jaden Smith and a friend in HE WILL NOT DIVIDE US (2017). Screenshot from HE WILL NOT DIVIDE US

Jaden Smith and a friend in HE WILL NOT DIVIDE US (2017). Screenshot from HE WILL NOT DIVIDE US by LaBeouf, Rönkkö, & Turner .

The project, which involved a live stream, was later cut short following LaBeouf’s arrest and threats of violence, but Smith was on hand for the unveiling, posing with the artwork on LaBeouf’s Instagram to help promote the piece. (The Fader erroneously reports that he co-launched the work with LaBeouf.)

In October, Smith was also spotted at the 2016 LACMA Art + Film Gala, a star-studded event honoring artist Robert Irwin and filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow.


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