April 26, 1996
Tremont artist and poet Steven B. Smith moved to Cleveland from Baltimore in 1972, and not for the Lenten fish fries: "I came here for another man's wife," he says.
She got divorced and married somebody else; Smith devoted himself to his art, sorting through neighborhood scrap piles to unearth holy cards, dented TV trays, and heirloom photographs of forgotten people.
He incorporated that blend of religious imagery and post-industrial residue into mixed-media collages --and has kept it up for the past quarter-century.
Funny and poignant, but with rough edges worthy of a tetanus shot, the resulting works remove the sentimentality from the sacred, without stooping to sacrilege.
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