X-Men  Master: Gordon Smith

A new exhibition at the CIBC Canadian Film Gallery
August 17, 2012 – March 31, 2013

The CIBC Canadian Film Gallery continues its mission to highlight the history and achievements of the Canadian film industry with this new exhibition devoted to the work of makeup artist and special effects designer Gordon Smith. An Ontario native and a graduate of the University of Windsor's theatre programme, Smith is a thirty-year veteran of the film industry, having worked on such films as David Cronenberg's Dead Ringers, Adrian Lyne's Jacob's Ladder, and five films for Oliver Stone.

Credit: Photofest  

Like many who work behind the scenes in film production, Smith was used to anonymity, until his spectacular work on X-Men and its sequel X2 brought him widespread media attention and acclaim. Making unprecedented use of advanced silicone makeup technology, Smith was able to realize such spectacular creations as the blade-knuckled Wolverine, the feral strongman Sabretooth, and most memorably the blue-skinned, distinctly underdressed shapeshifter Mystique.

X-Men Master: Gordon Smith explores the process by which Smith developed and applied his silicone prosthetic technology with artifacts that Smith preserved after their use in the films. Spotlighting seven characters — Wolverine, Mystique, Senator Kelly, Lady Deathstrike, Sabretooth, Toad, and Nightcrawler — the exhibition allows visitors to get a close-up look at the extraordinary effort and detail used to make these comic-book creations come alive on the screen. This is an invaluable opportunity to study and salute the work of a true film artist, whose work has had an enormous impact on the film industry both in Canada and worldwide.

Sylvia Frank