Perceive Me | Kristine Schomaker
Mesa College Art Gallery 7250 Mesa College Drive San Diego CA 92111
On view March 13 – April 13, 2023 Reception: March 16 4-7pm PST FA103
I hate pictures of myself.
I have always felt fat.
I am not alone.
Kristine Schomaker: Perceive Me
Plus -size artist and cultural producer Kristine Schomaker stimulates serious thought and important conversation about the intersection of perception and reality.
In “Perceive Me”, plus-size artist Kristine Schomaker challenges us to examine our acceptance of differences- especially related to size. She posed for 60 artists to do nude portraits of her larger-than-average form; the results are a celebration of and for anyone who has ever felt less than beautiful. Rather than shaming Schomaker for her size, the artists celebrate it with paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, video and a 3D print.
“Perceive Me” opens at Mesa College Art Gallery 7250 Mesa College Drive, San Diego, CA 92111 on March 13th. The show is on view through April 13th. An artist’s reception is scheduled at the gallery for Thursday, March 16, 4-7pm PST.
Viewers cannot spend time in this remarkable exhibition without having their concepts of female beauty challenged and, hopefully, changed.”
Betty Ann Brown, Art & Cake, January 30, 2020
With “Perceive Me,” Schomaker touches on pervasive cultural standards of the “right” female body- an idea that challenges many and has become a ubiquitous issue with the widespread use of digital filters, photo editing and social media dissemination. She hated having her photo taken because she didn’t mirror what she saw in TV, movies and other media. She developed an eating disorder, but never lost sight of the need to express herself in her art.
“Posing and modeling for these 60 artists, I felt like a supermodel. I felt thin, bold,
beautiful, classy, elegant, sexy,” she said. “The artwork that was created is amazing.
Then I looked in the mirror...” Kristine Schomaker, Artist
Schomaker's premise has been described as brave, but honest may be a better descriptor for this project. It's about how we view ourselves to ourselves and how that meets, merges or collides with how others see us. It provides a framework to the artists and viewers alike to help us “see” more about ourselves. Los Angeles artist Sheli Silverio, whose 57-inch-tall watercolor painting is included said “…social standards are in need of critique more often than not. The way "Perceive Me" reflects and shifts the idea of perception of self allows for this criticism.” Photographer Martin Cox commends Kristine “as she confronts media and societal stereotyping in her choice to expose herself while working through issues of self-perception in the 21st century.” Sculptor Susan Kurland adds “There is so much resistance in seeing ourselves, as we are rather than whom society thinks we should be. If society sees us, it’s as a fragment of who we really are.” The included works run the gamut from altered digital video to traditional oil painting to custom printed rolls of gift wrap.
Author and art critic Shana Nys Dambrot describes the show as “A rich trove of art historical citations and moods… they each use her presence as an armature to explore their own process. Some are sparse and forthright, others are scenic and even theatrical, some tell stories and some are mysterious and contemplative, some are spectacular, others quite intimate”, adding “…the materiality and formalism reminds viewers that portraiture can truly be anything it wants to be -- just like people. For all these reasons, the project rather doubles as an exciting snapshot survey of the current moment in Los Angeles art.”
“Perceive Me” premiered in January of 2020 at California State University, Los Angeles; after over a year of pandemic restrictions, the show moved Studio Channel Islands for a seven-week exhibition in the summer of 2021. The first museum exhibition of "Perceive Me" took place at MOAH: CEDAR in Lancaster, CA in the fall of 2021. Coastline College Gallery, Newport Beach, CA is the 4th iteration. The final presentation will be at Mesa Community College Art Gallery, San Diego, CA in early 2023.
“I’ve never heard so many people come into the gallery and just make some sort of vocal exclamation of surprise,” said Peter Tyas, executive director of Studio Channel Islands.
Ventura County Reporter, Sept 1, 2021
Nancy Kay Turner
Artists who collaborated in the project include Amanda Mears, Anna Kostanian, Anna Stump, Ashley Bravin, Austin Young, Baha Danesh, Betzi Stein, Bibi Davidson, Bradford J Salamon, Caron G Rand, Carson Grubaugh, Catherine Ruane, Chris Blevins-Morrison, Christina Ramos, Cynda Valle, Daena Title, Daggi Wallace, Dani Dodge, Debbie Korbel, Debby and Larry Kline, Debe Arlook, Diane Cockerill, Donna Bates, Elizabeth Tobias, Ellen Friedlander, Emily Wiseman, Geneva Costa, Holly Boruck, J Michael Walker, Jane Szabo, Janet Milhomme, Jeffrey Sklan, Jesse Standlea, John Waiblinger, Jorin Bossen, K Ryan Henisey, Karen Hochman Brown, Kate Hoffman, Kate Kelton, Kate Savage, Katherine Rohrbacher, Kerri Sabine-Wolf, Kim Kimbro, L Aviva Diamond, Leslie Lanxinger, Mara Zaslove, Marjorie Salvaterra, Martin Cox, Monica Sandoval, Nancy Kay Turner, Nurit Avesar, Phung Huynh, Rakeem Cunningham, Serena Potter, Sheli Silverio, Susan Amorde, Susan T. Kurland, Sydney Walters, Tanya Ragir, Tony Pinto, Vicki Walsh
About Kristine Schomaker:
Kristine Schomaker is a Los Angeles based multidisciplinary artist, art historian and curator. She received her BA in Art History and an MA in Studio Art from California State University Northridge. Schomaker has been exhibiting her work since the late 1990s. She has had solo exhibitions throughout Los Angeles including “Plus” at Ark Gallery in Altadena, “Mirror, Mirror!” at Gallery H Phantom Galleries LA, Hawthorne, California, “And One Man in His Time Plays Many Parts” at the Los Angeles Art Association, “Plus” at Moorpark College Art Gallery, “A Comfortable Skin,” at Kerckhoff Hall Art Gallery UCLA, Los Angeles, California and “Ce n’est pas une Peinture,” at TRACTIONARTS, Los Angeles, California. Schomaker has also been featured in numerous group exhibitions. In addition to working as a practicing artist, Schomaker is an independent curator, the founder of Shoebox PR and publisher of the online contemporary art magazine Art and Cake.
Coastline Art Gallery, Installation View