ARTSY: Judith Schaechter’s ‘Cold Genius’


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JUDITH SCHAECTER’S LATE BREAKING NOOSE: So to recap: first I made the head. Ahhh…and what a head!!! I don’t think I have attained such spot-on idealness before. Definitely my best head to date. Of course I desired a body and context that would do this face justice. Yikes…never ever wish this….because this set into motion a series of impossible to meet standards, goals ratcheted to unattainable levels, yadda yadda yadda blah blah blah. So I had this face. Made in glass and at some point shortly after its birth, I saw this YouTube video by Klaus Nomi. (Yes, I was a big fan in his actual heyday in the early 1980s). This is Klaus doing a rendition of “The Cold Song” from Henry Purcell’s opera “King Arthur”. The clincher is that Klaus was within weeks of his own early death and is literally singing the song as if it’s his last…so sad…….The song is sung by a character called The Cold Genius who is praying to be allowed to freeze to death (presumably because he was lonely and freezing was a familiar emotional condition for this character). I was really taken by Klaus Nomi’s amazing performance—and inspired by the idea to make my own Cold Genius. So the face was married to the theme (freezing is a theme I have done before) and a body easily followed. MORE

judith-schaechterjpgWIKIPEDIA: Judith Schaechter is a Philadelphia-based artist known for her work in the medium of stained glass. Her pieces often exhibit elements of parable, and her distorted faces and figures, along with her own self-professed atheism ironically clash with her medium’s religious tradition. Schaechter has served on the faculty of numerous art schools, such as the Rhode Island School of Design. She is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Crafts Department at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She illustrated the cover for musician Andy Prieboy‘s 1991 album Montezuma Was a Man of Faith. Her work has been exhibited in the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Schaechter’s Bigtop Flophouse Bedspins appeared in the 2002 Whitney Biennial. In 2008 Schaechter was the recipient of an unrestricted $50,000 grant from the arts organization United States Artists, and in a 1992 Pew Fellowships in the Arts. MORE

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