Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fathers Day for Kiki Smith

Today I want to think about Tony Smith, Kiki's father.I found an article Chuck Close wrote for Time magazine in 2006. In it he writes that Kiki Smith and her twin sisters used to sit at their father's feet making cardboard models for Tony's sculptures. In this one, notice his use of small modular pieces.

Moondog is made of 15 octahedra (polyhedron with 8 faces) and 10 tetrahedra (polyhedron with 4 triangular faces). Kiki would have been 10 years old when this sculpture was made in the 60's. Just a perfect age for sitting below her papa cutting out little cardboard shapes and understanding how wonderfully well they could go together. Moondog has a playful name, which I imagine she also enjoyed. Maybe she even helped name it. Another idea for the name is that it was inspired by Moondog the blind poet who lived on New York City's streets at the time the sculpture was made. Moondog and I have the same birthday, May 26th. He was known as The Viking of 6th Ave.
Kiki takes after her father in her childhood crafting of cardboard shapes. When Tony Smith was a boy he did the same. As a child he had tuberculosis and in order to keep from spreading it spent much time alone cutting little shapes out of medicine boxes and building miniature cities.
I wonder if Kiki played today, with her dad in mind. If she made anything as quirky, tipsy and sweet as Moondog.

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