Kiki Smith

  • Medium:Ink, glitter and leaf on Nepalese paper
  • Year:2011
  • Size:299.7x200.7cm


Kiki Smith’s works on paper are unique in style. She has a special penchant for paper and holds a wealth of knowledge regarding paper qualities. She often uses traditional handcrafted paper such as Nepalese paper or homemade paper. To her, the properties and textures of handmade paper are very similar to human skin: The skin is actually a membrane with numerous pores, which can breathe and connect inside to the outside. Although skin is usually considered a boundary separating the inside and outside of the body, this boundary is blurred on a microscopic level, and the human body can become accessible through entering the skin. Thus, the outermost layer of the body is much more fragile than we think, and people’s sense of possessing a protective layer is actually imagined. Smith draws on the subtle texture of handmade paper to present the characteristics of human skin, giving her work an intimate, mysterious, yet antique quality, conveying explorations of life, the energies of the body, as well as fragility and extinction.

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