Worldwide icon-chevron-right North America icon-chevron-right United States icon-chevron-right Illinois icon-chevron-right Chicago icon-chevron-right Dominick Smith, 24

Dominick Smith, 24

Art-school student preps for a long night.
Photograph: Andrew Nawrocki
By Jake Malooley |

Monroe Street and Michigan Avenue

You’ve got a Rice Krispies elf thing going on. Oh, yeah? What we wear is just a costume anyway. It’s uncomfortable to acknowledge, but we’re all just assuming identities when we get dressed in the morning.

Where are you going? Getting some beer and heading back to the studio. I’m an M.F.A. student in SAIC’s sculpture department. It’s going to be a long night. With a little lubrication, you’re less critical of the things coming into your mind, and so you get more out. The more stuff that comes out, the better chance some of it will be good.

They let you drink? At school? Uh…if they caught me, I don’t know what would happen. I don’t really care, though. We pay enough money to attend. We should be able to have a couple beers. It’s, like, 40 grand a year!

Can you describe your work? I scan in images from old magazines from the ’40s, when they still used Kodachrome: Life, National Geographic, Indian-reservation mags. I print them out large, adhere them to themselves and form them into big origami-like sculptures.

They took your Kodachrome away! They did. These days photography is interested in capturing an accurate representation of the moment. Documenting a real situation with Kodachrome, you couldn’t get away from it being stylized because it’s so vibrant, almost painterly. The trees are the wrong color; the blood is too bright.

More to explore