Rupert Jasen Smith was born in New Jersey but grew up mostly in Palm Beach, Florida. The Floridian vistas would prove to be influential, as Smith eventually refined his painting under the tutelage of noted landscape painter, A. E. Backus. However, he chose New York as the place to complete his formal training. He received his BA in Arts, with a specialty in painting and printmaking, at the Pratt Institute, which also hosted Warhol assistant Nathan Gluck. Smith got his degree in 1973 and met Warhol the following year. While working for him, Smithâs responsibilities typically followed a pattern of first obtaining canvases and film positives from the Factoryâsometimes even silk screens would be made in-houseâbefore engaging in deep consultation with Warhol over how the final image would look, making corrections or even reshooting as needed.