Nicole Eriko Smith VS MFA Thesis 2009
I am engaged in making line drawings that subvert conventional notions of intimacy. I have invented a hybridized visual vocabulary that is an amalgam of illustrative styles and which is situated in my interest in the etiquettes of touch and gesture, sadomasochism and the nuance of body posture. I use the filters of bondage, kink and domestication to perforate normative behavioral expectations about the physicality of (and communicate my own ideas about) the hybrid nature of intimate acts.
Using pen and ink and paper, I create detailed and monochromatic tableaus that are both provocative and playful. These tableaus are populated by a recurring cast of hybrid human/ animal characters that are engaged in sleepy-eyed, acrobatic and seemingly noncommittal acts of brutality and tenderness. In a space somewhere between public spectacle and private play, they flog, fellate, caress, strangle and otherwise antagonize and comfort each other.
These characters enact scenarios that, to some extent, represent sublimations. I have created the characters and the imaginary world they inhabit as a means of ordering/ decoding experience and communicating my desires. When I make these drawings, I am drafting supplications for intimacy. Every drawing I have ever made has been a love letter to the viewer.