Pépé Smit - State of Mind

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Pépé Smit - State of Mind

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Title: State of Mind

Photographer: Pépé Smit

Text: Jacob Witzenhausen, Anita da Cruz

Design: Het Hoofdbureau Amsterdam

Publisher: Artspace Witzenhausen

Year: 2003

Binding: Softcover, ring binder

Pages: 29 pp.

Size: 15 x 15 cm

Language: English

About the book:

The first quick impression when looking over the photo's of Pépé Smit will be that of very sweet pictures. However those who take a closer look will see a different world emerging. The more darker side of the images will reveal itself to you. Cynicism, humour, sexual references, taboo's, they all start to stare you in the face. The longer you observe the image, the harder it will throw itself back at you. For example the pin-up with the long blond hair; at closer range you will see that the hair grows from her armpit.

Smit shares the vision of Schopenhauer on boredom, pain and happiness. ‘Boredom’ as a lack of suspense and excitement is seen as the most dreary state man can get to. Love and cruelty are also inseparable. Smit loves to play with these issues in a very ordinary setting. She has a keen eye for the common character of these mechanism's which reveals itself much stronger in her portrayals (images) than for example in a SM-room. Like in her image ‘Brand’ where innocence and quilt see eye to eye.

With pleasure Smit explores the clichés and taboo's of our society. Clichés as the innocence of children, feminine beauty, motherhood and art itself are all being tackled. Her own version of ‘Déjeuner sur l'herbe’ set on an alp and the woman in a pretty dress with pink roses do indeed refer to Allen Jones figure of a woman as a drawing room table.

With obvious pleasure and viciousness she plays with the keen eye of the spectator. The contradictions in issues as quilt & innocence, sweet & vicious, lust & punishment which emerge in her work, are all fascinating and alluring because it seems to touch a deeper layer in our consciousness. - Margriet Kruijver

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