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Philosophers of the Smoking Room - Roland Barthes (3) Collage

Cynthia Grow

Collage, Paper on Paper

Size: 11 W x 8.5 H x 0.1 D in

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About The Artwork

Philosophers of the Smoking Room – Vintage Philosophy book, vintage photo reproduction, acrylic paint on paper. The title of this series comes from a book published in 1908 titled “The Philosophers of the Smoking Room.” While this book pre-dates the work of the Philosophers in this series – I used the title because I found it humorous. Every person in the photos holds a cigarette or cigar – the clichéd, albeit romantic notion of a Philosopher. The text on each piece is a quote from the writings of the Philosopher/Theorist in the photo. I’ve painted over each photo, and then scratched off the paint, leaving only remnants. I’ve used another vintage philosophy book for the pages on each of these works, obscuring the text with a thin layer of paint so the words hazily rise to the surface. Appropriating a pre-existing text and obscuring the original document serves to act as a mirror for the ideas, needs, and desires of the viewer. And is a direct nod to the writings of each of these philosophers and some of the concepts they address in their work. The hidden words act as a metaphor for the subconscious – an awareness and the thoughts that exist just under the surface, almost out of reach, barely perceptible. The “unspoken” I believe exists in us all.

Details & Dimensions

Collage:Paper on Paper

Original:One-of-a-kind Artwork

Size:11 W x 8.5 H x 0.1 D in

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Delivery Time:Typically 5-7 business days for domestic shipments, 10-14 business days for international shipments.

Cynthia Grow is a visual artist whose work explores the interstices between art and language. For nearly two decades, she has lived and worked between the U.S., Italy, and Spain (Catalunya). She is now based in her native Florida, working between there and extended periods in Barcelona. Influenced by her studies in literature, she works alternately between abstract paintings and text-based conceptual works on paper. She harnesses the same sources of inspiration for both – language and memory – and achieves an overall aesthetic signature marked by strong senses of mood, poetry, and atmosphere. Cynthia studied painting at Accademia d’Arte in Florence, Italy and has completed projects at residencies throughout Italy and Spain, as well as seminars at New York Studio School, National Academy School of Fine Art, and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In addition to studio training, she completed a Graduate Certificate program in Modern and Contemporary Art, Connoisseurship, & the Art Market at Christie's Education New York and holds a Master's degree with a concentration in Modern Arts & Literature. Cynthia has exhibited works in New York, Los Angeles, and Miami as well as galleries and cultural centers in Europe including Florence, Venice, Rome, Milan, Madrid, and Barcelona. Her work has been featured in prizes, publications, and exhibitions across both continents. Please visit my website ( and follow me on Instagram (@cynthiagrow_) for latest news, events, and a glimpse inside my studio and artistic process. Thank you for looking at my work! **Please Scroll Down to bottom of page to the Collections/Artist Series Tab to sort my work by Series.**

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Showed at the The Other Art Fair

Handpicked to show at The Other Art Fair presented by Saatchi Art in Dallas, Brooklyn, New York, Brooklyn, New York, Dallas, Los Angeles, Dallas

Artist featured in a collection

Artist featured by Saatchi Art in a collection

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