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Kiki Smith

Artist 113 Kiki Smith The Female figure

Kiki Smith (born 1954) is a West German-born American artist whose work has addressed the themes of sex, birth and regeneration.

Her figurative work of the late 1980s and early 1990s confronted subjects such as AIDS and Gender, while recent works have depicted the human condition in relationship to nature. Smith lives and works in New York City.

Prompted by her father's death in 1980 and by the AIDS death of her sister, the underground actress Beatrice “Bebe” Smith, in 1988, Smith began an ambitious investigation of mortality and the physicality of the human body.

She has gone on to create works that explore a wide range of human organs; including sculptures of hearts, lungs, stomach, liver and spleen.

The abject in her work is reflected by she deforms and transforms the female form through different ways. She transforms the set social expectation and draws questions over the meaning.

Smith often examines excreta such as blood, semen, and bile in carefully crafted sculptures that bear the influence of Surrealism. Her exploration of the body has been used through multiple mediums including textiles.

“I always think the whole history of the world is in your body,” Smith has said.

The multidisciplinary artist employs tattooing, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, textiles, and photography, to engage with a range of themes that relate to the human condition.

I love how she manipulates the female form and creates dialogue.


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