Carolein Smit’s training in graphics, lithography and ceramics has perhaps infused her current sculptures with a poetic charm and simplicity. Recognisable for its deft combination of humour and vulnerability, Smit’s work offers us a resolute look at the brutal beauty of death. She takes painstaking care in rendering the skin of the statues, covering them with thorns, hairs, holes, or a sinuous web of veins. These intricate surfaces belie Smit’s intended message on our material obsessions with the superficial and the transient.
Featuring tropes from classic mythology and fables that caution against greed and vanity, Smit’s sculptures are reminiscent of the vanitas tradition, which is distinctive for its morbid imagery. Skulls, skeletons and the bones of small animals are all seamlessly incorporated into her work, reminding us of the temporal nature of our existence.
Smit is represented by Flatland Gallery. Her work is currently showing at the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam as part of a group show called Hand Made, which closes on 20 May.
Flatland Gallery, Lijnbaansgracht 314, 1017 WZ, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
All images and information courtesy of Flatland Gallery.