Kaili Smith is a promising young visual artist, coming from a diverse family. He was Born in the Netherlands (1995) and raised in Australia, he now lives in New York.
Kaili’s current work examines the social construct around “Youth criminality” and offers alternative perspectives through paintings and film. The work is influenced by his upbringing and experiences as a child, but also an ongoing growing understanding in psychology with research into the process of Normalization of behavior.
His earlier work looked at different people whose lives have been subjected to globalization and merging cultural influences. From migrants fighting to enter Europe on the Moroccan border, too graffiti painters in Istanbul.
Kaili has had numerous gallery & museum exhibits in Europe and the US. He sold out his graduation show In July of 2018 at WDKA in Rotterdam where he received a bachelors degree in fine arts. This was followed up by his Debut UK solo show with Thinkspace at Moniker art-fair which also sold out. He is now pursuing a master’s degree in New York after receiving a full scholarship at Parsons School of design.
His painting series “Le petit prince” reflect on the bizarre conflicting reality of children growing up in an environment of crime, while at the same time showing the strength that children often find through this lifestyle. The work offers different perspective on an ongoing cycle that many western countries still struggle to understand or deal with in a progressive manner.
In 2017 he had a solo show in Rotterdam The Netherlands at Sober Collective Gallery. The show was titled “Reflection of our times”, which was based on his latest painting series which looked into the parallels popular-culture music have on our daily lives. The paintings were shown along with a 18 minute video-work on the topic of globalization.
His first ever solo show “Europe or nothing”, was a public pop-up show in Rotterdam’s busiest street the “Lijnbaan” organized by Gallery RR. The multi-media exhibition gave an insight into the day to day life of migrants trying to cross the border towards Europe. In 2015, with strong right wing protest on immigration in Europe, it was an important time to discuss this subject. The exhibition included paintings, photography, installation work, a short projected documentary as-well as a series of poems read out displayed on screen from Mariboudou Keita both a migrant & writer from West Africa trying to cross the Moroccan border into Europe.
He has also been involved in several group shows with Thinkspace Projects based in Los Angeles. Who have shown over the world, most notably a museum at Honolulu museum of art, where he debuted his first painting from the Petit Prince series. This was followed by another group show at museum of art & history in Lancaster. Also he has taken part in a collection of art fairs & gallery shows including Miami scope during Art Basel week. Since 2018 all works displayed with the gallery have been sold without exception.
A growing aspect to his practice and one of the main focuses during his MFA program is writing & directing short films. He recently wrapped up his second short film, and is in the early stages of beginning a third. His film work offers a more in depth and more critical analysis on the topics that his work touches on. The time needed to fully produce a short film, and the process of entering film festivals means his shorts are not yet in available in full online. But hopes to make at least one public by the end of 2019.
Kaili is currently half way through his MFA course and takes the scholarship opportunity from Parsons seriously. He is taking on no commission works and has limited his gallery shows. The school offers a wide range of opportunity for artistic growth both in his painting and film work. His next solo show is aimed for October 2019 in Los Angles and set to be his biggest yet.
Current and Previous Works by Kaili Smith
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