What are Art Smith’s favorite cities?
I adore going to New York to find out what’s new. When I want to feel warmth, and to be romanced and intoxicated, I head to Miami. Miami is where Jesus [Salgueiro, the artist] and I met, so it’s also associated with love. When I want to be comforted by the food I’ve cooked and enjoyed, there’s no better place in the South than Charleston, S.C. My career was founded in celebrity, so there’s no better place to be around that than Los Angeles. I go there to get my celebrity hookup.
In Asia, Shanghai is probably the most beautiful modern city in the world. There’s no greater city in the world than Singapore — it’s conservative, but an amazing city. A city that I’ve just discovered, and that some may find challenging but I find exciting, is Caracas, Venezuela. It’s a beautiful place with beautiful people. I’ve learned to find beauty in challenging places. I think some people hear the word ‘challenge’ so they choose not to go — but if I want perfect, I go to Disney. I like to see authenticity. I love Johannesburg, even more than Cape Town. Johannesburg is the New York of South Africa. Rome also is one of the most amazing cities in southern Europe. You have not lived until you’ve ridden on the back of a motorcycle in the traffic down a Roman street.
When it comes to just pure beauty and history and crumbling elegance, there’s nothing more beautiful than St. Petersburg, Russia. And if you really want a fix and you don’t want to go around the world, there’s no better city in North America than Montreal. It’s the most flavorful, authentic city in North America.