My Blue Lake
Average: 3 (1 vote)
gstecyk's picture


Kiki Smith almost literally skinned herself for this, having her image stretched end to end as though it had been peeled. 

Kiki’s favorite medium is her own body, and for this work she took things a few steps further.  

She posed two days in the British Museum in front of a geographical surveying camera (one of only three in the world!).  It’s the same principle used in mapmaking, meaning Kiki’s proportions have been laid out according to the same logic that makes Greenland appear bigger than Australia.  In so doing, Kiki questions our notion of accepted beauty standards and the mathematical rationalization of “beauty.”

The resulting Fernando Botero effect highlights the inconsistency of evaluating human subjects on scientific terms.  Or maybe, Kiki Smith ate the blueberry bubblegum in Willy Wonka’s factory.  Either way, we get a biting commentary on the ideal female body, which is too often measured by tape as opposed to human reality.  Or maybe Buffalo Bill made Kiki Smith into a coat.


amcneary's picture


Not afraid of an unflattering selfie, Kiki Smith often uses her own body in her work. For this blobby piece, she used a special camera (one of only three in the world!) that enabled her to create a squashed 360 degree image of her face. It's a tool that, until Smith got her hands on it, had been used mainly for geological surveys.  It might call to mind one of those flattened maps of the globe, which was Smith's intention in concocting this hybrid portrait-landscape.