Art January 20, 2010 By Jenna Martin
allison cover Allison Schulnik
Man With Bird, Allison Schulnik 2009. Images courtesy of Mark Moore Gallery

hobo title Allison Schulnik

Allison Schulnik paints rejects. For her second solo exhibit at the Mark Moore Gallery, aptly titled Home for Hobo, the Los Angeles based artist focuses on one of her recurring subjects — the hobo clown — to extend her family of outcasts to include possums, raccoons, and Klaus Kinski. Comprising ten paintings, four sculptures, and a four-minute claymation music video for Grizzly Bear, all dated 2009, Schulnik’s new work embodies the same macabre sensibilities of her previous works, utilizing kitsch subject matter in the traditional formats of portraiture, landscape, and still life. Refreshingly honest, Schulnik’s work is that of excess. Caked in thickly applied impasto, her fantastical characters appear to be melting off the canvas, residing somewhere between their world and ours. Schulnik remarks, “It just felt right for the characters that they should not be so together. They’re falling off of their skeleton, they’re falling off of their own frame.” Simultaneously stunning and unsettling, the characters stare longingly for something that only exists within their fictional frames — beauty, love, refuge, recognition.
     Growing up in San Diego, Schulnik describes her childhood as unstructured. “I went around town making art and being bad and being good.” Trained in different forms of dance, Schulnik left the art of moving for the art of the moving picture. Attending the California Institute of the Arts, Schulnik received her BFA in Experimental Animation in 2000. After graduating, Schulnik worked in studio animation for about six years before transitioning entirely to her solo work. A lover of all the archaic forms of art making, Schulnik is a purist at heart.

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