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Barbara Smith (1987) makes films, photographs, paintings, prints, props, theatrical productions, performances and whatever else she is in the mood for/has money to make. Her work explores the personal narrative in context of a larger discussion on feminism, femininity, class systems, generational trauma, mental health, theories of beauty, sexuality, shame, and motherhood. And Southern California as a backdrop and lead character in an unfolding life.
She is a mother and educator, and as an act of rebellion against the term “Mommy art”, has leaned into this role as a source of inspiration for artistic endeavors. She frequently collaborates with her two daughters—both talented artists, actresses and dancers in their own right— to create photographs and films.
She is also interested in feminist and maternal gazes and their relation to the worlds of cinema, theatre, politics, and architecture—fields traditionally and predominantly dominated by men.
Her current body of work A Mess of Songs is a multimedia exploration of mental illness and motherhood in the context of economic depression and lack of social and health access in Southern California.
The primary medium for this project is film, with dance, theatrics, music composition, painting and internet aesthetics and engagement supporting the larger project. She hopes to gain further understanding of various mental illnesses and envisions being able to convey these surreal states of mind to others without their need to experience it first hand.
Copyright © 2023 Barbara Smith - All Rights Reserved.