ABout the Artist
Kiki Smith is a contemporary American artist best known for her figural representations of mortality, abjection, and sexuality. With a special fascination with the body and bodily fluids, Smith often examines excreta such as blood, semen, and bile in carefully crafted sculptures that bear the influence of Surrealism. “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. Born on January 18, 1954 in Nuremberg, Germany, she moved with her father the sculptor Tony Smith and mother the singer Jane Lawrence to South Orange, NJ while she was still a baby. The largely self-taught Smith enrolled in the Hartford Art School for a brief period of time before moving to New York in 1976. In New York, she quickly became a fixture of the Downtown arts scene of the time which included artists like David Hammons and Jenny Holzer. Today, Smith’s works are held in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, among others. The artist continues to live and work in New York, NY.