KimAnnaSmith

Discover Kim Anna Smith's neon sculptures

Kim Anna Smith's oeuvre can be defined as an abstract representation of reality, in which the artist captures her sensations and emotions when confronting a society in constant movement and chaos. Through her eye-catching colors, like blue, turquoise, fuchsia and silver, Kim creates Neon lines that form figures on mixed media backgrounds created by the artist. The simplicity of Kim's work makes it visually pleasing and easy to understand, yet her message goes beyond a simple drawing or phrase. Conceptually, Kim's sculptures represent a social critic of today's social injustices, themes such as the refugee crisis, borders, feminine identity and the figure of women in society can be seen through her almost minimalist and colorful compositions.





Although Kim works with different media, much of her work focuses on her neon sculptures. Through this material the artist finds a way to channel and express her feelings. Kim seeks to translate her emotions through light, she is inspired by her surroundings; she uses her studio and the rest of her house as a space to display and reflect on her works.

The creation of her pieces begins in writing: "I always start with words", she tells us. Her studio is full of papers on which she writes her thoughts. She analyzes, selects and hangs them on the walls. She also writes them on her phone and later returns to them. Afterwards, Kim translates these writings into schematic drawings in charcoal to later transform them into sculptures. Depending on the meaning of her drawings and words, she reflects on the kind of sculpture she devises, the kind of light and the kind of material she wants to create her final work with: "Do I want a bright or a dim light? What kind of background do I want with this type of neon? What do I want to convey?" she asks herself. This long process of reflection leads her to spend countless hours in her studio going back to her writings and drawings until she creates the sculpture.

In her artistic repertoire, Kim describes human experiences such as joy, pleasure, pain or anguish, she purifies these feelings and translates them in the most simplified way possible, turning them into thin lines of light.

KimAnnaSmith

In her compositions, the portraying of the female body is also recurrent. Kim 'draws' minimalist feminine silhouettes as if they were fine strokes of paint. By using neon, she invites us to rediscover femininity without dissimulation or modesty. The woman appears in front of us dignified and imposing.

On several occasions, the artist also surprised us with striking words made of neon ‘strokes’. Kim's work moves between painting and sculpture, between poetry and activism. Her works seem to send a message to the world, that makes the viewer a participant in the inner world of the artist and makes him or her reflect on her messages that appeal to universal feelings.

Kim tells us that her attraction to neon in her works is due, in part, to the attraction this material has and the feelings it produces on the viewer. Kim's neon writings also glimpse activist components, such as showing in a direct and sharp way what we do not want to hear or nor see. When everything is dark is when Kim's work appears to us with all its splendor, ready to send a powerful message.

Our curator has visited Kim's studio in the outskirts of London to bring you closer to her vision of art and her creative process, which, due to the technical complexity of Neon, is fascinating. Artig Gallery presents an exclusive interview with British artist Kim Anna Smith.

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Interview


When and where did you decide to become an artist?
I don’t think it was at one particular moment, but it was about 3 or so years ago that I decided to stop making art in secret and actually show people!

When did you start working with neon lights? What do you think took you to work with this material?
Neon is just one part of my practice, but it’s s big part. I love the way it changes a space and the way people respond to it. I get lost in it. I find my mood reflects the materials I use in a really obvious way. A few years back I was sad and would only use charcoal. Then I stopped feeling sad, my life changed and neon reflected that mood, although that’s not to say I only make ‘happy’ pieces in neon, some pieces are actually quite provocative or a protest to something; which still works because essentially it’s glass so there is still an edge or spikiness to it. Neon isn’t always some warm, romantic, fuzzy thing.

What is your favorite artistic movement?
Hard to pick but I definitely prefer contemporary over classic.

What are the latest projects that have been important for you?
In 2018 I have created a new project with the David Lynch Foundation and I participated in some more group shows in London. I exhibited a new installation in Aqua Art Miami in December together with Artig Gallery.

Kim, what did you have for breakfast today?
Coffee and some left over home made carrot muffin belonging to my son.

Who is your hero?
People who are parents and do the best they can everyday.

What would surprise people to know about you?
I never went to an art school.

What do you do in your free time?
I have a baby and work for myself so I don’t really get much free time right now…

Who are your 3 favorite artists?
Emin, Matisse, Chris Ofili, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, I also like Hank Willis Thomas at the moment. Sorry, I know that’s 5!

What inspires you?
My baby, everyday.

Describe your artistic style in 3 words:
Without wanting to get into obviously category naming, I’d say raw, honest, (sometimes) figurative.

Any advice for emerging artists?
Don’t let anybody put you off and don’t give anyone your power. Took me a long time to realize that!

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