Allison Schulnik was born in 1978 and raised in San Diego, California. Schulnik’s father was an architect from the Bronx and her mother was a plein-air painter from British Columbia, both of whom studied at Pratt Institute in Brookyln, New York, in the late 1960s. Schulnik studied and performed many forms of dance before receiving a bachelor of fine arts degree in experimental animation in 2000 from California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California. She studied under noted filmmaker and fellow artist Jules Engel, who founded the school’s experimental animation department in 1970. By 2000 she had created three award-winning stop-motion and claymation films that would later influence her heavily layered paintings and animated, hand-worked sculptures that are reminiscent of the clay characters in her films.
Schulnik says, “I paint rejects, misfits and their landscapes. My fixation on these characters is not intended to exploit deficiencies, but to find valor in adversity. There is something honest and true about imperfection. Something real about the shunned outcast … someone who chooses to stay outside the realm of normal society, or is forced there against his will.”
Works in Our Collection
Performance (for James Ensor)
Oil on canvas, 2006
96 x 136 inches
Museum purchase with funds from the Mark and Hilarie Moore Family Trust