Surreal Realities: The Artistry of Rodney Smith

Thursday 16 May 2024
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Screening Room

Rodney Smith, ‘Skyline, Hudson River, New York’ 1995. Courtesy of Staley-Wise Gallery


How does photographer Rodney Smith blur the line between reality and fantasy? Executive Director of the Rodney Smith Estate, Leslie Smolan, and photography specialists Susanna Brown and Francis Hodgson discuss Smith’s career as a prominent fashion and landscape photographer known for his unique combination of surrealism, style and wit.

Staley-Wise Gallery’s solo Rodney Smith presentation at Photo London 2024 is the first exhibition of Smith’s work in the UK, following his first New York exhibition at Staley-Wise in 2023. It will include work that Smith created between 1987 and 2016, before his untimely passing at age 68.  Copies of Smith’s recently published retrospective book, Rodney Smith: A Leap of Faith (Getty Publications, 2023) will also be available at the fair.

Ticket Price: Free with Photo London Ticket



Please note, tickets are free of charge to Photo London pass holders, and pre-registration is strongly advised to avoid disappointment. 


Leslie Smolan

Leslie Smolan is the Executive Director of the Rodney Smith Estate, and co-founder of the world-renowned branding and design firm, Carbone Smolan Agency (CSA), whose clients include the Louvre Museum, the High Museum, Christie’s, Morgan Stanley, and Mandarin Oriental Hotels. Smolan had a thirty-year collaboration with Rodney Smith, as his client, creative partner and wife, and is focused on preserving, enhancing and expanding Smith’s legacy.



Susanna Brown

Susanna Brown is a writer and curator specialising in photography, portraiture and fashion. The author of eight books, she has held curatorial roles at the National Portrait Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Her acclaimed exhibitions have been staged at more than twenty venues globally and include ‘Tim Walker: Wonderful Things’ (2019), ‘The History of Photography: The Body’ (2017), ‘Horst: Photographer of Style’ (2014), ‘Selling Dreams: One Hundred Years of Fashion Photography’ (2012) and ‘Queen Elizabeth II by Cecil Beaton’ (2011). Susanna is Senior Lecturer in Photography at University of the Arts London.