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Fancy Dancer

Gathering horse names for fun.
VICE Staff
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: Josh Smith


: Galerie Catherine Bastide


: Pencil, paper, tape


: $150

Knoxville, Tennessee, native Josh Smith works out of a studio in Harlem, just a few blocks from the northeast corner of Central Park, where he sometimes fishes in the spring and summer.

He primarily works in oil paint, because he “cannot figure it out.” His paintings are mostly large variations on a theme—his name. “I started using the phrase ‘Wild Thing’ for a while, too, because it has the same amount of letters as ‘Josh Smith’ and there is an ‘i’ in the same place.”

What we really love, though, are the books that Josh makes, handcrafted and incredibly tactile little documents of what must be a scorching case of OCD. This one, entitled OTB, is close to a hundred pages of horses’ names gathered from the rosters of the tracks. There are cool monikers like Eternal Guest, My Kinda Gold, and Trip Charge, and to see them page after page in pencil for infinity is the opposite of boring. In fact, it’s hard to put down until you’ve read them all.