Visual Arts

Kiki Smith's Photography Finds the Art in Nature

Nature becomes art in Kiki Smith's photography exhibit, "I Myself Have Seen It," currently on display at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.

"This show gets the imagination swirling, even if it is an odd duck," writes contributor Sativa Peterson in this week's print edition of New Times.

More than 1,000 photographs by Smith are on display ranging from seeming biological studies to Addam's Family-esque oddities. But nature isn't the only subject of Smith's photography; still-life portraits and fairy tales also are explored.

Here's an excerpt from this week's arts feature:

But this is a contemporary art exhibition, not biology class, and what's on display here is not captured in jars but captured in photographs. In fact, more than 1,000 photographs, some formally staged and some informal and improvisational, illustrate how photography has played a role in the development of Smith's visual language and in the creation and repetition in her art.

There also is this palpable, obvious interest in the biological workings of the body -- especially the female body -- and the cycle of life and regeneration. Making drawings and objects about organs and the nervous system, all of which has me a caught up in this fantasy of what it would be like to have Kiki Smith leading lectures on life and origin and living organisms. Somehow incorporating her interests in fairy tales and myth, like mixing Joseph Campbell's The Power of Myth with the biology of the human body and a bit of the Addams Family thrown in for good measure. What a great class that would be!

You can read the full story about Kiki Smith's photography exhibit at SMoCA here.

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Eric Tsetsi
Contact: Eric Tsetsi