Monday, June 13, 2011

Say hello to Allison Schulnik

Sunflowers #7, oil on canvas stretched on panel, 30" x 24", 2009

You come from a family of artists; did you always know you'd end up making art as an adult?

I thought I would be a dancer or a musical theater performer. In the end I guess I couldn't escape being an artist.

Night Wind (and details), oil on linen, 84" x 68", 2010

Do you think of your work as dark/sad? How do you stay happy and balanced?


For me, I work to liberate monsters. I see the paintings as monuments to the rejected, forlorn or foolish. The works are sanctuaries and I am happy to provide that. Happiness and balance is the goal.

Wolf, oil on linen, 36" x 48", 2009

A lot of your work feels sympathetic to the Northwest in that it has a feeling (and I mean this in a really good way) of rot and decay.

I love the Northwest, although I have lived in the Southwest my whole life. I also love rot and decay. Most things are more interesting when they are decomposing.


Hollow, oil on linen, 78" x 98", 2010

You studied animation at CalArts--where did painting come in?

I always painted from a young age because there were a lot of painters in my family and it was heavily encouraged, including my mother, my aunt, my uncle,etc... My father drew as well, and is an architect. When I went to school I knew I wanted to learn a skill and make films, so I studied animation. Now I do both.


Home for Hobo #2 (Currier & Ives), oil on linen, 68" 96", 2009

Is your environment a big influence on your art?


Environment is probably more important than I would admit to. I have a big space in East LA which I couldn't have in other cities, and that allows me to make big work.

Big Monkey Head #2, oil on canvas, 60" x 60", 2010

Other influences?

Influences, it's an endless list. pina bausch, philip guston, harryhausen, bickford, kinski, gilliam, eric yahnker, peter saul, basil wolverton, crumb, balthus, ensor, van gogh, soutine, hockney, paul mccarthy, jan svankmajer, rankin bass, king kong, peter grudzien, andre butzer, armen eloyan, harvey milk (the band), upsilon acrux, angel witch, venom, the earthmen, barbra streisand, the original production of a chorus line, slayer.

Flowers with Figures, oil on canvas, 36" x 48", 2011

What has been occupying your thoughts these days?

I think a lot about cheese. And I have also been thinking a lot about Rose Kemp. But mostly I have been thinking about this strange cat/creature outside my studio because I think it is a mix
between a possum and a cat.

2 Clowns, 30" x 40", oil on canvas, 2010

What does the rest of 2011 look like for you?

I have a solo exhibition of my new work, which will include this new film I am finishing now, which has 100 puppets I am animating all at once. They are made of clay mostly but also hand-sewn costumes I made, like usual, thousands of frames, animated by myself.... in October at ZieherSmith, NY.

3 comments:

Mink said...

Very excited to see your show in NYC in Oct Allison.

Everyday Louise by Sheri Larsen said...

Very interesting work indeed~<3

Mary Addison Hackett said...

gorgeous work in person. hope to see the show in the fall.