I know it has been quite a while since I updated A Few of My Favourite Things here so I will skip with the pleasantries and just get right into it.
The subject for this edition of A Few of My Favourite Things is the contemporary artist and draftswoman, Aurel Schmidt. Aurel’s work belongs in the recent resurgence of drawing. Her work is also a kin of the recent rise of what could best be described as obsessive / ritualistic work. Wherein the artist uses repetition be it of formal elements or technical processes to a degree that borders on obsessive and ritualistic. These artists can be considered the offspring of artists such as Yayoi Kusama and although their work often borrows Ms Kusama’s obsessive tendencies it rarely shares her formal limitations. Instead the work of Ms Schmidt cribs everything from pop culture to pseudo-religious imagery and the reference lays in the technical as opposed aesthetic approach that Ms Schmidt takes to her very labored over drawings. Another reference point for Ms Schmidt is the work of outsider artists like Henry Darger and Martin Ramirez. Like both Mr.’s Darger and Ramirez Ms Schmidt’s work often has as it’s subject matter imagery that can be described as bizarre and surreal however unlike both Mr. Darger and Mr. Ramirez who both struggled with mental health issues that often plagued the consistency of their work Ms Schmidt’s work has been prolific and consistently rewarding. Her work in many ways reminds me of the work of someone like the early renaissance artist Hieronymus Bosch in its fixation upon the disturbing and the grotesque. There is something truly wonderful about how she so precisely crafts these technically complex "cabinets of oddities". The loving attention paid to every last detail of such seemingly disturbing drawings elevates the subject matter above it’s pulpy and gruesome origins into some sort of thing akin to beauty and maybe even truth. As if by paying it some much heed Ms Schmidt begs the question, “Why not?”