Perceive Me at Mesa College Gallery, San Diego
As part of Women’s History Month 2023, the San Diego Mesa College Art Gallery presents the exhibition Perceive Me, featuring a series of portraits created by artists in collaboration with plus-size artist Kristine Schomaker. This project was envisioned as a form of protest and to challenge the notions of female body size and ideals as construed by society and the art world. This project started in Los Angeles, where the Hollywood industry has historically placed unrealistic expectations and has influenced constraints on the female body at a global scale. Schomaker invited 60 artists to portray her larger-than-average form in the nude, in some cases following the art tradition of figure drawing and portraiture; in others, breaking that mold. Shifting away from the hurtful trappings of body-shaming, the artists honor and celebrate Schomaker’s voluptuous figure in a variety of paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, video and a 3D print.
"Posing and modeling for these 60 artists, I felt like a supermodel. I felt thin, bold, beautiful, classy, elegant, sexy," Schomaker said. "The artwork that was created is amazing. Then I looked in the mirror... I was the same. But I knew I was saying something that needed to be said."
- Kristine Schomaker