Emily Mae Smith
February 5, 2023
Pictured above: Poetry (Toy in Blood), 2022, oil on linen, 67 x 51 inches & Painters Quarry, 2022, oil on linen, 90 x 67 inches both courtesy the artist and Petzel gallery; photo credit: Charles Benton. Portrait photo credit: Steve Benisty; nature portrait credit: Nate Heiges.
Complete playlist below; tracks in yellow were cut for time.
- Summer Breeze - Type O Negative
- Lay Lady Lay - Ministry
- Worlock - Skinny Puppy
- Israel - Siouxsie & The Banshees
- Lucretia My Reflection - The Sisters of Mercy
- Cuts You Up - Peter Murphy
- A Forest - The Cure
- Until Death (Us Do Part) - Front 242
- Hot on the Heels of Love - Throbbing Gristle
- Head Like a Hole - Nine Inch Nails
- Warm Leatherette - The Normal
- Collapsing New People - Fad Gadget
- Sensoria - Cabaret Voltaire
- He's a Liquid - John Foxx
- Paranoid - Black Sabbath
- Sistinas - Danzig
- We Believe - Ministry
One of my oldest friends, painter Emily Mae Smith GOES HARD on this episode of the Selection Committee Radio Show. Bringing in a mixtape of goth and industrial songs that she listens to in the studio when on a deadline, Smith gets us in the mood for productive violence, talking about her predilection for groups with dangerous performances and connections to avant-garde art movements.
Like a good goth song, Emily’s meticulously rendered paintings reference both high art and cheap culture to create shimmering tableaux of ludic nihilism. Reflecting on her work’s references to art history, Smith talks about the way the female figure is used as a formal cipher for male artists, the rage and alienation this engenders, and how she’s using her work to paint her own place in history.
We discuss the ethical implications of taking on violent and/or charged subject matter in art and the return of the Satanic panic. We also talk about the importance of community in the development of ourselves and our work—and reminisce about our shared youth at the turn of the century in central Texas!
You can see her exhibition "Heretic Lace" and our panel discussion about her new monograph here.
The monograph is focused on the last decade of her work is now available wherever you like to buy books or from the Petzel bookstore.
Follow Emily Mae Smith on instagram!
Emily's limited edition cover for Nine Inch Nails for Interscope is here.