Emily Mae Smith: Exclusive Q&A

It must be two weeks ago, since I first saw Emily Mae Smith’s playful paintings. It was during an Artist Talk at the Swiss Institute in New York, where Smith was a guest speaker. She welcomed us into her creative visions, making us smile and laugh multiple times, enhancing the event. Her Magritte-ian inspired, witty and playful characters (especially the broom ladies, an evolving series) you can see a theatric aspect in her paintings, careful moods and scenes being created, as if taken from a Samuel Beckett era.

Elusive has been so lucky to get an inside glimpse into Smith’s mind and we are more than proud to present an exclusive Q&A accompanied by a selection of Emily Mae Smith’s painting (oh boy, she has skills!). Please, enjoy.

Emily Mae Smith Elusive Magazine Dimitria Markou Still Life
Still Life, 2015
oil on linen
48 x 37 inches (121.9 x 94 cm)


-Which was the latest exhibition you visited that made an impression on you?
My favorite show of 2015 was “Peter Saul From Pop to Punk” at Venus Over Manhattan.

-What was the best advise you have received, and by whom?
A few years ago my friend Joyce Yamada sent me a letter with this Franz Kafka quote inside:
“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.”

-Who are your five favourite artists?
This list is constantly changing, but here are some of current favorites I am thinking about often:
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres
René Magritte
Francis Picabia
Christina Ramberg
Louise Lawler

-What makes you forget time?
Working on a painting.

-What is the ultimate Christmas present?
Something made by hand.

Emily Mae Smith Elusive Magazine Dimitria Markou Tongues Guns
Guns VS Tongues, 2014
prepared ground, oil on canvas
14 x 11 inches (35.6 x 27.9 cm)

Emily Mae Smith Elusive Magazine Dimitria Markou The Studio Smoking Broom
The Studio (Smoking Broom), 2014
prepared ground, acrylic, oil on linen
38 x 27 inches (96.5 x 68.6 cm)

Emily Mae Smith Elusive Magazine Dimitria Markou The Psychologist
The Psychologist, 2015
oil on linen
48 x 37 inches (121.9 x 94 cm)

Emily Mae Smith Elusive Magazine Dimitria Markou The Mirror
The Mirror, 2015
oil on linen
46 x 54 inches (116.8 x 137.2 cm)

Emily Mae Smith Elusive Magazine Dimitria Markou The Studio Never Tear Us Apart
The Studio (Never Tear Us Apart), 2015
oil on linen
38 x 30 inches (96.5 x 76.2 cm)


For more content see Emily Mae Smith’s website.


Interview by Dimitria Markou.

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