A black stiletto crushes a pink tongue. A nude woman and a broom sporting a wig sit on two huge, luscious cherries. A whole scrum of tongues stretch out, trying to catch falling silver coins as if they were snowflakes. These are just a few of the scenarios playing themselves out in Emily Mae Smith's paintings, which ooze psychosexual tensions that are by turns comic and unsettling. “I think that a lot of times the paintings are like machines, and my mind is like, ‘How do I make that machine work?’ ” Smith says in this video, directed by artist Robin Cameron and filmmaker Wilson Cameron and produced by the Standard. A graduate of the Columbia M.F.A. program and the University of Texas at Austin, Smith will have a solo exhibition this year at Simone Subal in New York and a two-person show, with Adam Henry, at SALTS in Birsfelden, Switzerland. She has been in group exhibitions at Marlborough Chelsea, König Galerie, and Miami's Moore Building (in "Unrealism," organized by Jeffrey Deitch and Larry Gagosian with Diana Widmaier-Picasso), as well as the Portugal Arte 10 biennial.
The Standard and ARTnews present a new video series talking to artists in their studios about the work they’re making and the ideas behind it.
Robin Cameron and Wilson Cameron
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