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Kiki Smith in "Stories"

“Basically, I think art is just a way to think,” remarks Kiki Smith, “it’s like standing in the wind and letting it pull you in whatever direction it wants to go.”

Adept in bronze, wax, textiles, and printmaking, the segment follows Smith on a journey through a diversity of narrative subjects including witches, saints, death, animals, family members, domestic objects, and dolls.

Smith explains her relationship to meaning in her work: “I’d rather make something that’s very open-ended that can have a meaning to me, but then it also can have a meaning to somebody else who can fill it up with their meaning.”

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Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Kiki Smith

In the 1980s, Kiki Smith literally turned the figurative tradition in sculpture inside out, creating objects and drawings based on organs, cellular forms, and the human nervous system. This body of work evolved to incorporate animals, domestic objects, and narrative tropes from classical mythology and folk tales. Life, death, and resurrection are thematic signposts in many of Smith’s installations and sculptures. The recurrent subject matter in Smith’s work has been the body as a receptacle for knowledge, belief, and storytelling.

“Basically, I think art is just a way to think. It’s like standing in the wind and letting it pull you in whatever direction it wants to go.”

Kiki Smith

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Kiki Smith discusses how different spiritual elements and belief systems make their way into her work.