Kiki Smith is best known as a sculptor but her love of craft draws her to work in a variety of materials. Smith’s body of work investigates the body, both internally and externally, and its relationship with the larger natural world. Themes of death, decay, birth, and regeneration run through her work. Raised in a Catholic household, she often challenges social taboos about the body, specifically the female body. Her spot-on depictions of the human body often leave the viewer feeling uneasy, as if they have just seen something that they were not intended to. Her work during her Workspace Residency began by examining the body from the inside out. Smith offers us internal views of organs, bones, and organic systems throughout the body. Rolled veins of gampi paper form a model of the inner structure of the female breast. Smith uses paper as the medium but the body as a means of communication. The human body is a receptacle of many things but primarily one of knowledge.
Born in Germany but raised in New Jersey, Kiki’s first exposure to art was working with her artist father Tony Smith. Before moving to New York City, Kiki attended Hartford School of Art.