Jenny Schmid lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota where she runs bikini press international and is an associate professor at the University of Minnesota. She exhibits her work nationally and internationally and is represented by The Davidson Galleries in Seattle. Her prints can be found in collections including The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, The Detroit Institute of Arts, The Block Museum in Chicago and The Spencer Art Museum. She received the Fulbright, the McKnight Fellowship, the Bush Artists Grant, a 2010 Jerome Film and Video grant and a 2013 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant. Recent projects include live animation performances with Ali Momeni and MAW, an exhibit at the Davis Museum and an upcoming book project in collaboration with poet Elisabeth Workman.
My work explores ideas of gender, identity and liberty, drawing from the tradition of social commentary while creating a decidedly contemporary and humorous take on the question of how identities are constructed (and destructed). In my work I express my desire for feminism to be realized through the liberation of boys and girls. By creating active girls (often with big heads) and lounging or reading boys, I subvert the traditional gaze of Western art where the passive female body is most often the focal point. In my invented land, the boys are usually on display and the girls are watching them, but all the characters appear to be enjoying their plight.
From medieval engravings to contemporary graphic novels, print media has existed in a place between high and low art, an inexpensive means to disseminate ideas, question authority through humor or make the personal political. The accessibility of printmaking has made it a deviant media, historically employed when confronting authority and exploring taboo subjects. Through my work I am connected to the history of the graphic image as a medium and its tradition of rebellion and blasphemy.
My newest work expands the definition of the graphic arts by exploring the natural affinity of animation to printmaking in terms of sequence and graphic imagery. By utilizing a variety of media both traditional and contemporary I find new connections between animation, printmaking, photography, public art and non-linear computer technologies.