Emily Mae Smith creates lively compositions that offer sly social and political commentary, with a nod to distinct historical painting movements, such as symbolism, surrealism, and pop art. Her lexicon of signs and symbols begins with her avatar, an anthropomorphic broomstick figure. Simultaneously referencing the painter’s brush, a domestic tool associated with women’s work, and the phallus, the figure continually transforms across Smith’s body of work. By adopting a variety of guises, the broom and other symbols speak to contemporary subjects, including gender, sexuality, capitalism, and violence.Read More
Smith has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Le Consortium, Dijon, and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut.
Text courtesy Perrotin.
Emily Mae Smith's Broom Life sold for over 20 times its high estimate.
In author Ursula K. Le Guin's 1986 essay, The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction, Le Guin cites writer and editor Elizabeth Fisher's "carrier bag theory," which posits that the earliest tool was in fact a vessel for gathering and not a weapon—as is favored in male-centric historical narratives—pointing to the biases ingrained in...