While Kiki Smith is best known for her sculptures, among prints and installations, I recognize her for her drawings and mixed media works. As the concentration for much of her work has been the body, she was one of the main influences on my art for my junior year portfolio centered on anatomy. Smith is often described as a feminist artist, and her work with the body goes from literal to metaphorical with themes of “life, death, and resurrection” (PBS). She describes herself as growing up religious, as her mother was Hindu and Catholic “and her father was raised by Jesuits”, which caused many of her works to have spiritual undertones (Wikipedia). In speaking about her print collection, she said, "Prints mimic what we are as humans: we are all the same and yet every one is different. I think there's a spiritual power in repetition, a devotional quality, like saying rosaries” (Wikipedia).
As a contemporary artist, Smith has received many notable awards in the recent past. She now lives and works in New York, and the Museum of Modern Art has taken notice of her pieces, both new and old (PBS). She was asked to give lectures there in 2003 and 2004, “A Conversation Between Kiki Smith and Lynne Tillman” and “Retelling Little Red et al: Fairy Tales in Art and Literature” respectively (About the Artist: Kiki Smith). Besides also having work at the MOMA, her pieces have spread to the “Walker Art Center, Whitney Museum of American Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art” (PBS).
Born, created in 2002, focuses on the relationship between humans and animals. In this “68 x 56 in” lithograph, Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother are shown as being “born of the wolf rather than eaten by him” (Collections: Browse Objects: Born).
In Smith’s 1997 piece Nest and Trees, she channels Jackson Pollock with a “20 x 22 in. weblike design” of scanned and manipulated images of trees (Collections: Browse Objects: Born).
Kiki Smith’s “88 x 73 in. ink and pencil” piece, Lying With the Wolf, was created in 2001 and is now housed by the Centre Pompidou (Wikipedia). She describes her reason for creating this piece by saying, "In the Louvre I saw a picture of Genevieve sitting with the wolves and the lambs...I had stopped making images of people for a couple of years; I just wanted to make animals. But then I saw that picture, and I thought, it's really important to put them all together. So I drew my friend Genevieve as the Genevieve, and then I made all these wolves (I didn't make lambs)" (The Spiritual Importance of Contemporary Art).
This sculpture, Daisy Chain, was created in 1992 to depict a “women’s fight for freedom during a time of sexism and violence” (Everyone's A Critic). It is created from “100 feet of steal chain” and metal (Everyone's A Critic). As a feminist artist, Smith wanted to show the struggle of African American women against oppression and for equality.
"About the Artist: Kiki Smith." About the Artist:Kiki Smith. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Oct. 2013.
"Collections: Browse Objects: Born." Brooklyn Museum: Browse Objects: Born. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Oct. 2013.
"Everyone's A Critic." : Kiki Smith’s Daisy Chain by Catie Wildman. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Oct. 2013.
"Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History." Kiki Smith: Nest and Trees (1999.64). N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Oct. 2013.
"Kiki Smith." PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 04 Oct. 2013.
"Kiki Smith." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 24 Sept. 2013. Web. 04 Oct. 2013.
"The Spiritual Importance of Contemporary Art." : "Lying With the Wolf" N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Oct. 2013.