Artist 1. Allison Schulnik

<p class="unit_copy text_center"></p>
Installation shot at Mark Moore Gallery in Culver City, CA

Allison Schulnik is one of my favorite artists. I love her work so much and have been dying to introduce you to her for some time now (that is, if you don't already know about her). Born in 1978 in San Diego, CA, Schulnik attended CalArts where she obtained a BFA in Experimental Animation.

Her work repels and entices. The grotesque mixes with the innocent resulting in Shulnik's own personal mythology. Featuring characters like hobo clowns, mermaids, sad animals and humanoid beings, her multimedia works tell universal stories of triumph in those least likely. Once you get past what might initially seem haunting there lies a tale with Shakespearean influence (represented in his tragicomedies)--she places value on the misunderstood and marginalized, showing glimmers of hope through seemingly dark imagery.

<p class="unit_copy text_center">"ex•pose: Allison Schulnik" / installation view / solo exhibition 
<br />Laguna Art Museum, 2013</p>
"ex•pose: Allison Schulnik" / installation view / solo exhibition, Laguna Art Museum, 2013

<p class="unit_copy text_center">Long Hair Hobo #2, 2008 / oil on canvas / 84 x 68 inches / Permanent Collection of The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts</p>
Long Hair Hobo #2, 2008 / oil on canvas / 84 x 68 inches / Permanent Collection of The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

The first time I encountered Schulnik's art was in Grizzly Bear's music video for Ready, Able. It was back in 2010 and I was deep into the sounds and feelings of Grizzly Bear (transient, dark, haunting, mercurial, sea-like--much like Schulnik's work, actually). She created mesmerizing stop-motion claymation for the video and I was instantly a fan. At the end of the video I couldn't wait to check out her website and see more. I encourage you to take the time and really watch the whole video. The subtleties of expression are profound and the evocative combination of the music and the setting is like that of a dream.


A true multidisciplinary: she sculpts, she paints, she crafts, she works with video and film. Like most sculptors who paint, her canvases are dimensional, chock full of heavy impasto and blur the line between what is a painting and what is a sculpture. Her videos and film are incredibly haunting, with story lines that awaken the conversation between her sculptures and paintings. You can get a sense of how they work together here.

Hobo Clown from Guernica Magazine on Vimeo.

If you know me at all, you know I have an affinity for what is sometimes labeled "gothic innocence" (think Edward Gorey, Tim Burton). It's a thematic style that focuses on characters as subject, using dark imagery to convey something humanly universal (like a hobo clown who is overjoyed by nature). Or these guys at a funeral party.

Allison Schulnik is represented by Mark Moore Gallery and Zeiher Smith. I absolutely encourage all of you to keep an eye out for her work. It's truly moving in person.

<p class="unit_copy text_center">Hobo on Bike, 2009
<br />oil on linen
<br />84 x 136 inches</p>
Hobo on Bike, 2009, oil on linen, 84 x 136 inches
<p class="unit_copy text_center">White Flowers #2, 2009
<br />oil on canvas stretched on board
<br />12 x 16 inches</p>
White Flowers #2, 2009, canvas stretched on board, 12 x 16 inches

Mound by Allison Schulnik from garaco taco on Vimeo.

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