Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ideas of Transformation_7

Kiki Smith

Looking at contemporary artists who use printing processes as well as the idea of exposing ones self, or hiding behind a mask of sorts: Kiki Smiths' integration of personal, social and artistic concerns in her pieces, forces me to look closer at her imagery and conceptual pieces every time I read about her... initally I found the pieces offending and didn't want to get 'closer', but here I am.

Most of her pieces are focussed on her ".. own individual experience of the body, and into a realization of the ways in which that experience is manipulated by external forces...", the use of 'face' (specifically her own face), in her Lithographs Banshee Pearls (1991), has a certain narrative I would like to incoroporate into the use of masks in my work.

Smith used a mixture of printing techniques for her 12 lithographs. Each of the prints shows photographic arrangements of herself, mixed with pattern or line - something she called "femme butterfly/flower pictures". In this sense, like most of her works where she has 'female' as her narrative, I'd say it's the opposite of what I present with the masks, which to me are 'masculine'. What I found particularly important was that she decided to approach the subject matter of 'self' using print ("...a secret entrance into using myself as a subject..."). I appreciate what she sais about Banshee Pearls (images: MoMA) and using herself in the imagery because, as she says "It's much more scary to be a girl in public than to talk about the digestive system", when referencing her 'self portraits' and other pieces she's created.

Susan Tallman, who's article I'm referencing here, also says "Not only is the subject matter of Smith's prints highly personal, there is also a distinctly handmade quality to her manner of printmaking."

Susan Tallman's article "Kiki Smith: Anatomy Lessons," Art in America, April 1992 can be found at:

Kiki Smith's Lithographs can be found at:

1 comment:

Tusshar said...
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