Halloween Special: Emily Mae Smith

In the week leading up to October 31st, we will be sharing the bone-chilling work of one of our favourite freaky artists, alongside a hair-raisingly festive little interview!

Images courtesy of CFA Berlin.
2018, oil on linen, 67 x 51 in

A hot bullet sears through a glistening ice cube gouging out a peephole through which can be seen an alluring, anthropomorphic broom. This is the nightmare painted by Brooklyn-based artist Emily Mae Smith. Smith seems haunted by this broom, repeatedly painting it into different contemplative landscapes, as if she can’t escape it. The broom references the Goethe poem made famous in Disney’s Fantasia, in which a young sorcerer’s apprentice enchants a broom to finish his chores. The story turns into a dark parable about power in the wrong hands, that awful nightmare feeling when you’ve done something bad and it’s spiralling out of control. Smith’s version of the broom has been feminized, appearing as a siren tempting alien shores. Her charmed oil paintings are deathly alluring, but concealed in digestible, sexy pop-art forms, a trick that feels inherently witchy. -Claire Milbrath

Fiction Flesh, 2018, oil on linen, 58 x 47 in

The Gleaner, 2018, oil on linen, 67 x 51 in

Is your work intended to induce fear?

What are you most afraid of?
How our reality resembles a Margaret Atwood novel more and more.

Do you believe in magic?
Yes, I’m a painter.

What possesses you to create?
I can’t imagine not making things or paintings. I would have to be possessed, not to create.

Given the choice, would you become immortal?
I might.

If you were a monster what kind of monster would you be?
A vampire.

Sweat Equity, 2018, oil on linen, 20 x 16 in

Alien Shores, 2018, oil on linen, 54 x 46 in

Eve, 2018, oil on linen, 67 x 51 in