Kiki Smith

After using paper mache on the skeleton I realised what it reminded me off. I’ve seen a work before of Kiki Smith’s called Hard Soft Bodies which had the appearance of shedded skin made to look like a human.

Kiki Smith, born 18th January 1954, is a German-born American artist whose work has addressed the themes of sex, birth and regeneration. Her figurative work of the late 1980s and early 1990s confronted subjects such as AIDS, gender and race, while recent works have depicted the human condition in relationship to nature. Smith lives and works in the Lower East Side neighborhood of New York City.


Hard Soft Bodies, 1992. Paper and Paper Mache.

I love this piece as I feel it’s strangely morbid whilst incredibly interesting. I think that this is the sort of effect that could work very well on my skeleton, as it’ll give the impression of the skin quite nicely on the bones. Also, added in with the ideas of how I could add fake blood to it to contrast with the pale colouring of the tissue I’m thinking it’ll be nicely juxtaposed.

Whilst looking for this work I also found another which was very interesting. It features a structure hanging from a wall resembling rib bones and sternum. I found it interesting how weak the structure look whilst also how morbid it appeared too. I was surprised I’d never seen this work before, as it seemed to be quite a relevant work to mine, now more than ever.


Ribs, 1987. Terracotta, ink and thread.



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