Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Hump Day Artist: Dana Schutz

This week's Hump Day Artist is Dana Schutz.  Talk about someone who knows how to paint!  This woman pushes paint around like it's her job (oh wait, it is her job, and she makes bank at it).  Schutz's paintings are a world all their own.  This is a place where people are half human/half slug/half robot.  A world where people eat their own faces, or break bodies apart and put them back together into something completely and totally wrong.  All in the most beautiful color palette I've ever seen.

Painters often get broken up into different categories.  In actuality, it's less like categories, and more like a bunch of snooty sororities.  There are your technical painters.  The ones that work like old masters, honor the painting tradition (pre mid-twentieth century, of course), and never want painting to be anything but that.  There are your irreverent painters: the ones that don't care if something is archival, they don't care if something is beautiful, they just slosh paint around (I think you could say I'm a member of this sorority).  And then there are the painters that only paint for some dumb philosophical, anti-painting reason and actually don't care about painting at all.  But we won't talk about them, they aren't important to this conversation.

Schutz's work definitely earns a point for the traditional team.  Schutz's paintings are so beautiful, so magical (yes, I said magical), that, for the viewer, the subject is almost an afterthought.  Which is crazy because the subject is always absolutely nuts!  Schutz is the artist that we all wanted to be when we were teenagers.  Her work is nerdy and weird and gross, but she paints it so well that she somehow gets away with it.  She paints what she wants and we lap it up.  An old, weird hot-pink naked guy reclining on a beach?  Yes, please.

Head to for more of Dana Schutz's work.  All images from

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