Tiffany Smith


Yellow Bird in Banana Tree




United States


60 x 76.2 cm


Archival inkjet print – Edition of 5, (2 A.P.)

Credits: Tiffany Smith

Amid a setting reminiscent of a tropical Caribbean landscape, the artist Tiffany Smith appears in a three-quarter portrait, dressed entirely in yellow. She holds tangerines in her right hand and stares at the camera. The setting is a mise-en-scène. It is designed with fake reproductions of banana plants, ripening banana bunches, yellow flowers, and some birds. This photograph is part of a larger series, For Tropical Girls…, in which Smith explores her ambiguous identity between the Caribbean and the United States. Its title comes from a Haitian folk song entitled “Choucoune”, which has been rewritten and which the artist remembers as part of her past while growing up in the Bahamas. 

The work is also a reflection on the reproductive problems faced by many women (particularly black women) in the contemporary world. For the artist, the banana flower has connotations of fertility, while the tangerines she holds are the actual size of Smith’s uterine fibers. In this portrait, she juxtaposes the tropical imaginary created for the tourist with the reality experienced by women in that context to keep that imaginary alive.