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Home FEATURES Artist Interviews Aurel Schmidt Interview

Aurel Schmidt Interview
Tuesday, 09 May 2006 15:52
Isaac interviews this 23 year old Vancouver to NYC transplant who does some brilliant drawings. Time, care and detail are the first things that come to mind when looking at Ms. Schmidt's work. It's as every crevice of one of her pieces is filled with something for the eye. Painstaking attention to every detail is spelled out in each of her lines. From the anatomy of the common housefly to the fanciful tail feathers in Peacock the images look as if a slight breath would fracture the serenity of their moment. While fancy is one aspect of her work realism plays an equally important part.

After seeing her work on Tim Barber's Tiny Vices I became an instant fan. After doing a little internet research and poking around in her FBI file I contacted her and conducted the following interview. I hope a gallery in the Bay Area brings her out here at some point. Because I have a feeling that her work is even more impressive in the flesh.
- Isaac McKay-Randozzi

Lets start with the basics; what's your full name, where do you live, and how old are you?
Aurel Schmidt, New York, 23

Have you lived there a long time?
I have been in New York for a year, but I live out of a suitcase, so I wouldn't say that I really live anywhere, I more live where-ever.

Medium:
Pencil crayon, pencil and acrylic on paper. Ranging in size from 15"X15" to around 40"X60". "The end" is 4ft X4ft acrylic on wood panel. Most of the insects are drawn life size or slightly larger.

How long have you been doing arty type things?
As long as I can remember. When I was a teenager I was making very angsty detailed drawings on all sorts of wonderful satanic themes. I drew everyday, I loved it so much. Then I got really embarrassed of them, I hid them all under the bed at my mothers house. Now I have come full circle, I draw rotting corpses all day, I have never been happier.

How do you make a living?
It's a secret.

Betting on snail racing?
Not even close.

How much of your income comes from your trucker hat business?
I gave that up a long time ago.

Why did you move from Canada to NYC?
I was living a really charmed life in Vancouver. Everything was perfect. I needed to make life more difficult. I wanted a challenge, to try new things, meet new people.

Why New York?
It was the only place I knew anyone else. I also wanted to be around museums and galleries, until I moved here I had never seen a 'masterpiece' in real life. Needless to say, the first time I went to the Met it really blew my mind. It changed everything.

Is your work all hand done? Or do you use any computer tools to help out?
It is all "hand done." When you see them in real life it is pretty obvious.

Do you smoke weed? I only ask because your work has a stonerish quality to it.
I don't smoke weed. But if you want to you can.

Depending on the size, how long does each piece take?
The zombie drawings take a long time. Days, Months... I've never timed it.

Do you paint? Or is your main focus drawing?
Drawing is my first love, but I would never be content to do one thing, I love ideas too much. I like to make ideas not pictures, any form will do. The zombie series that I am working on now will be drawing, sculpture, and some appropriation photography. I am about to embark on this really intense sculpture project over the summer. I am going out into the bush for four months, I am going to build my own kiln, and kill snakes and mice and insects and cast them. Zombie sculptures. Like the drawings but made of wax, or ceramic or something, I don't even know yet! I know what they look like in my mind, but I don't know how to make them yet.

What's the biggest mistake you've ever made?
I love mistakes. You make a mistake and as you try to repair the damage you create something new. Your ego is always trying to gloss things over, project an idea of what you want to make, who you want to be. When you fuck up you get a chance to see through it. Those moments are golden. Through mistakes you are able to short-circuit the ego long enough do something actually interesting. Everything good I have ever made came from a mistake.

What was the best decision you ever made?
Putting all my eggs in one basket.

What's your favorite 4-letter word?
L-
O-
V-
E

Does God exist, if so is she pissed?
I don't believe in god. But I see what you are getting at. I think the world is horrific. It always has been. And I don't mean just the everyday war rape and pillage child molesting alienating living hell that is existence. I mean the the fact that we are missing the end of the novel, we live everyday hurdling full speed towards a brick wall, and have no fucking clue what will happen after we hit. Its terrifying, but I love it…I love life more then life.

For a 23 year old you seem to be fairly mature, is that because you're a woman, or how you were raised, something else?
well... I suppose I put myself through a lot of trials. Always jumping out of the frying pan. Making grandiose and often poorly planner decisions and then seeing them through. I had little to no discipline growing up. Landmines. I got in to a lot of trouble. With no one to tell me what I should or shouldn't do I decided how I wanted to live my life on my own terms. As I mentioned above, mistakes. Living in hell and coming out the other side, a better person, subsequently an older person. Honestly though I am so thankful to be getting older. Fuck being a kid, at least as an adult you fully understand free will.

Do you do many art shows?
Recently Tim Barber has had two shows in New York of artists on his website: tinyvices.com, and I showed/am showing a few drawings in them, Right now: '25 Bold Moves' at the House of Campari, 382 West Broadway, May 5th through May 21st 2006, and last month at Spencer Brownstone Gallery. Otherwise, in Vancouver at artist run spaces, Antisocial, the Crying Room.

Where do you want to go with your art? Make a living off of it? Or just do it to do it?
I will always do it, I love it more then anything. I want to show it when I like it. If I sell it means that person liked it enough to buy it, and I like that.

Where can people see your work online? Have you been published?
tinyvices.com

{moscomment}

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