A Comfortable Skin documents how Kristine Schomaker uses avatars as a vehicle to bring more attention to the obsession society has with physical appearance.
Kristine Schomaker is a new media and performance artist, painter and art historian living and working at the Brewery artist complex in Los Angeles California. She received her BA in Art History and her MA in Studio Art from California State University at Northridge. For over 14 years, she has been working with various interdisciplinary art forms including online virtual worlds to explore notions of online identity and the hybridization of digital media with the physical world.
Whether physical or virtual, the object-based work Kristine creates combines elements of color-based gestural abstraction, animation, pattern and design, neo-Baroque and Populence. Using installation, text,
photography, mixed media, video and performance for her ongoing conceptual project My Life as an Avatar, she visualizes a narrative/dialogue with her virtual persona, Gracie Kendal.
In early 2012, Kristine turned an art gallery into a re-creation of Gertrude Stein’s salon and held a mixed reality performance/dinner party at the opening. Over the summer she also performed The Bald and the Beautiful in which she had her head shaved as a statement to challenge society’s standards of beauty.
Kristine documents her experiences as an avatar on ber blog and she has published four books on her new media work. She has an active life in the arts, previously teaching art history at Antelope Valley College and Pasadena City College, forming an artist collective in the Los Angeles area, organizing and curating numerous art exhibitions and she is a member of the Los Angeles Art Association, Southern California Women’s Caucus for Art, College Art Association and Siggraph. kristineschomaker.net
For more info on Eric Minh Swenson or project inquiries visit his website : thuvanarts.com
This video is from an art talk/performance I did on Saturday July 14th for the Artist21 series at the Brewery Artist Lofts in Los Angeles.
The performance is part of an ongoing artistic project about body image, self acceptance and the media's distortion of beauty.
The Gracie Kendal Project is a close-up daily view of a personal, social and psychological co-existence with my virtual persona. Using installation, text, photography, mixed media, video and performance, I project myself onto another form and confront my own imperfections.
My work deals with the process of becoming self-aware while living in a media-saturated, technologically advancing society. It is symbolic of the personal anxiety and loss of identity occurring in a world where visually aggressive advertisements dictate who you are supposed to be. In this environment I find it difficult to be comfortable in my own skin. My sense of self has become dislodged and torn apart.
Through documentation, I construct a narrative of self that represents me and is me, one that helps to deconstruct ideas of normalcy and authenticity.