SarahSchneiderman | Artist using reclaimed materials | Glastonbury | Art Jobs
Country: United States
City: Glastonbury
Industry: Fine Arts
Professional Title: Artist using reclaimed materials
Specialties: Recycled Art, trash art, Sewing

- About -

Historically, portraits have been reserved for those of great importance. Usually, these artworks offer a favorable depiction of subject matter. If one looks at the official presidential portraits at the National Portrait Gallery, most these paintings are austere and formal. This current white house is different. It has been in turmoil since this administration took office. The white house has been plagued with leaks, back-stabbing, contradictions, lies, and unrest. My portraits, which I started creating in November or 2016, are reflective of this revolving door both in subject matter and the reuse of found and recycled objects and everyday trash. These portraits are fractured reflecting the chaos in this president’s white house. The white house has frozen or withdrawn hundreds of regulations that were in place to protect the environment. These rollbacks could leave American vulnerable to the risks of air and water pollution. The acting EPA administrator, Andrew Wheeler, a former coal industry lobbyist, helped lead a fight by the coal industry to block regulations that protect Americans' health. Secretary of Energy, Rick Perry, is a climate change denier. The interior department, headed by Ryan Zinke, rolled back a 2016 regulation that would have prevented the release of nearly 180,000 tons of methane into the atmosphere each year. From a distance, the removal of regulations and appointment of the “best people” seems to be helping America. A closer look shows the failures of shortsighted operating principles. The Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule put forth by the EPA is a retreat in the battle to address climate change. The EPA’s own technical analysis that accompanies the new proposal indicates that emissions would grow under the plan and will lead to up to 1,400 premature deaths annually. The EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed freezing fuel efficiency requirements for autos at lower MPG by 2020 then the Obama-era regulations. This would result in a near doubling in the current amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere – a major cause of global warming. In this same vein, when my portraits are viewed from afar, the viewer sees the likeness of the subject matter. They may delight in recognizing the person or have warm feelings for someone they care about. The viewer may ask if these are paintings, photographs, or carefully constructed drawings made with a love and caring for the person depicted. Upon further inspection, it is revealed that these artworks are made of garbage – debris found on the streets or generated through daily living. One of the most common forms of trash is plastic. Toxic chemicals leach out of plastic and are found in the blood and tissue of nearly all of us and in wild fish. Exposure is linked to cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, endocrine disruption and other ailments. My work investigates our relationship to political figures and the environment and our visions: Is what we think we’re doing helpful or hurtful? Is what we see real or not? Is this a treasure or merely trash?