Sonja Schenk | About
Sonja Schenk is an internationally-exhibiting artist who was born and raised in Los Angeles. She began with video installation works and has since turned to painting and sculpture. She recently had a solo exhibition at the Museum of Art and History (MOAH) in Lancaster, California and also at the Prescott College Art Gallery in Arizona, and she created a commissioned outdoor sculpture for Porch Gallery in Ojai, California.
She was artist-in-residence at Shasta-Whiskeytown National Park in 2014 and also at the Thomas McKeon Center for Creativity in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 2016. She has shown work at the Yokohama Triennial in Japan, the Musée du Papier-Peint in Switzerland, the Vincent Price Art Museum in Los Angeles, and the Berkeley Art Center in Northern California.
Her work has been featured in NY Arts Magazine (Blouin), the Eastbay Express (Oakland, California), La Liberté (Fribourg, Switzerland), and the arts journal AEQAI. She holds an MFA in Film from USC and a BA in Visual Arts and Communications from U.C. San Diego. She also studied studio art at the Université de Bordeaux, France.
"My work is about the intersection of humankind and the natural world. I seek to develop an iconography that suits the reality of a world where the stability of nature, as we know it, is unlikely. I hope to provide an interpretation of this new world order through the juxtaposition of images, objects and materials.
All of my work begins with ideas. Each piece must have a strong conceptual basis which can then be further developed through a somewhat formalist use of materials and, if appropriate, the extension of painting into 3d space. My work is influenced by my physical surroundings. I live and work in Los Angeles, a place where miles of sprawl gives way to empty landscapes: the sky, the desert, the ocean. I've always been fascinated by this vast minimalism and the way it allows you to focus on small details. In particularly, I'm interested in things that are in a state of flux: plastic stuck on roadside fences, tumbleweeds, the wind on water.
My environment has influenced my work in another important way: props, backdrops and other tropes of "cinema" are often present. Illusion, sleight of hand and the facade are common elements in my art. For me, film has also had the effect of rendering time into something tangible. I often employ bifurcation or multiplicity to explore the concept of time. I hope to provide a meditative yet physical vantage point for the viewers of my art, an environment for reflection."