QUEENS — This might be a stroke of genius.
An artist who started a neighborhood treasure hunt by scattering pieces of his work around Astoria this summer is now planning to give away hundreds of his paintings, for free.
Smith says he loves the idea of sharing art instead of selling it, and so will be giving out 200 of his paintings for free to the first 200 people who show up.
"Really, the most important part of this for me is the sharing," he said. "When you start charging for it, it wrecks it, in a way."
An software engineer by day, Smith set out earlier this summer to try and create 5,000 works of art, colorful images he painted on pieces of cardboard using stencils he made with an electronic laser cutter.
He said he hit his goal, and gave away many of the paintings by scattering them around his neighborhood, posting them on shop windows and the doors of buildings. People started chronicling their finds on Twitter.
"I made a couple of paintings and gave them away and people responded to it really positively," Smith said, of how he got started on the project. "I would have stopped doing it the moment it become clear that people weren't into it."
In addition to the paintings give-away, Smith will be filling the store with his work and promises that the show will be an "art explosion."
Dave Smith's show will take place Friday, Oct. 25 from 9 p.m. to midnight at Long Island City Kleaners at 45-03 Broadway. More information can be found here.