Patricia Lee “Patti” Smith (born December 30, 1946) is an American singer-songwriter, poet and visual artist who became a highly influential component of the New York City punk rock movement with her 1975 debut album Horses.
Called the “punk poet laureate”, Smith fused rock and poetry in her work. Smith’s most widely known song is “Because the Night”, which was co-written with Bruce Springsteen. The song reached number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1978. In 2005, Patti Smith was named a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture, and in 2007, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Patti Smith’s journey as visual artist began with making drawings and taking photographs in the late 1960s. She was most recently the subject of Camera Solo, a survey of her photographs organized by the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art (2011), which travelled to Detroit Institute of Arts (2012) and the Art Gallery of Ontario (2013). In 2008, Smith’s photographs were exhibited at the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporaine, Paris, and her work was featured at Artium Centro-Museo Vasco de Arte Contemporáneo, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain. Strange Messenger: The Work of Patti Smith, a three hundred-work retrospective, was organized by The Andy Warhol Museum in 2002 and traveled to numerous venues including the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, and the Museum Boijsman Van Beuningen, Rotterdam. Her work has also been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum Eki, Kyoto; Haus der Kunst, Munich; Triennale di Milano, Milan; Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels and the Pompidou Center in Paris.