90: Betsy Schneider
Betsy Schneider is a photo-based artist and educator whose work is collected
and exhibited internationally. A show of her work -- including images of her then-young daughter nude -- caused an uproar several years ago at a gallery in London. New Times wrote about it later, in conjunction with a show of the same work in downtown Phoenix.
Schneider explains that her "artistic concerns range from trying to understand time, decay and the body, to exploring childhood, culture, and relationships."
Her work has won awards and is in several private and public collections including that of actor Jamie Lee Curtis, Museet for Fotokunst in Denmark, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City. She lives in Tempe, where she is an Associate Professor in the School of Art at Arizona State University.
List five things on your Inspiration Wall (real or imagined).
1. My children/ My childhood/ children and childhood in contemporary society
2. Cultural and social interactions that I observe in life, movies, books, tv--or on the internet.
3. Cultural and social interactions that I participate in with my friends, students, other artists and colleagues (maybe this relates to point 2, but its different, its more about their emotional world, who they are what they make, how it engages me, their stories, their lives, their goals and accomplishments and self-centeredly, how I interact with them).
4. Driving to the East and back every summer and other traveling.
5. What things look like, what they look like on film, or in pixels, or in video.
What's your last big project?
Photographing my daughter daily from birth to eleven.
What's your next big project?
Watching my daughter and my friends' children enter sixth grade, at the same time, coincidentally, I've reconnected with several friends from my own sixth grade, via Facebook, has thrown me into an obsession with that stage of life, the early cusp of adolsecence. So right now I'm dancing around a lot of ideas, including portraits and other pictures of middle school kids and but I am really thrilled about the idea of making video installations--exploring ideas of adolescence, middle school, sexuality and society.
How much do you hate being asked what your next big project is?
Yeah, that's funny because I've been on sabbatical this year and I keep getting asked what I'm working on and now as the sabbatical is coming to an end I keep getting asked what I accomplished. What I accomplished is the equivalent to really really cleaning the kitchen and going grocery shopping right before you make a big meal. Now its time to cook.
What's something you want Phoenix to know about you?
Hmm, Amy, I think they know pretty much everything thanks to you. Except perhaps, that I've hit a snag recently in making art out of my life, as my life has gotten much more complicated. I've separated from my husband and am putting my kids through a divorce and it hasn't felt like the right experience to immediately generate art.
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In fact the Photo of the Day ended, as it counted a lot on both Frank and Madeleine not just being willing, because they didn't stop being willing, they just stopped, both of them, going out of their way to help. I think it might have even been subconscious. They both just started forgetting the daily photo and for me other things seemed more important than making a photo every day.
That's the risk, you know, for some people their work is a way to escape their real life, a respite and a place to put energy when they want to get away from emotional intensity. But because I use my real life in my work it means that when things get difficult personally I can be debilitated artistically. But this year has been good and the sabbatical has allowed me to regroup and energize, I think too, that the experience of the past two years will eventually provide rich material, but it won't be via daily documentation, that's for sure.
The Creatives, so far: