Sunday, April 3, 2011

Kiki Smith

Kiki Smith is considered a modern feminist artists; her work usually involves women’s bodies. Usually themes of birth, regeneration, and animalistic statements are seen in her work.

Born, 2002

This is a great example of Kiki Smith’s shocking and provocative work. The dear is giving birth to a grown woman. Both the dear and the woman are very idealized and majestic looking, and that gives me the feeling that birth is something beautiful and perfect in our world. Here she is linking and showing a connection between animals and humans. I think it maybe says that humans are animals in our purest and most truthful form. We are no better than those that are wild around us. I also think that the woman being bald is interesting; babies are hairless or near hairless when they are born and the fact that this is a grown woman makes one question why Smith decided to do this; I think it is just referring to the birthing process. This sculpture also shows her symbols of renewal and rebirth; in many cultures that is what the deer represents, and I think the woman being bald and full grown also shows this.

Virgin Mary , 1993
wax ,cheesecloth and wood
This figure, with hint from the title, clearly has religious implications that go along with it. I love the attention to detail in anatomy that Smith has paid attention to here. She also did this piece in a bronze cast. The life size element of this piece sort of sends chills down your spine, because it feels as if this think without skin that is so exposed is just living and breathing in front of you; but it brings up another question as to what if this Virgin Mary is dead. There are holes in her wrists and I am not sure if that is on purpose or not, but her son Jesus had those same holes, and maybe she died along with him. Her body is in a very peaceful feeling stance.

Pee Body, 1992.
Wax and 23 strands of glass beads
Smith usually confronts and shows things that are somewhat awkward things to talk about in society. I love this piece because she turns something that socially is not the prettiest thing, into beautiful glass beads. The person here is also in an awkward position and it is again, a woman with no hair. I think this piece also brings us back to birth.

Daisy Chain,1992
Steel chain with five cast bronze elements (numbered three in an edition of three)
I really like this piece because again it deals with the body theme that Smith always presents, and it also makes me feel very deflated. I think that this might be saying that our limbs are some of the most important things we have, or it could be opposite and say that without our inside we cannot support the rest of our body. The chain and the casted elements are very rustic and dirty feeling. I love how Kiki Smith makes you question so much and does not necessarily give you an answer. I think this piece is a good example of that.

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