March 27, 2005

Judith Schaechter with context

There are images of new work by Judith Schaechter up at Parables in Glass. For me, the key issue with Judith Schaechter as a stained glass artist is context. Compared to most stained glass design today, her work is weird or shocking. But I contend that her work is only shocking in the context of it being stained glass. If it is seen in what is the more proper context of late 20th century graphic imagery, especially that which is categorized as 'underground comics' or 'lowbrow art' or 'outsider art', her work fits right in.

Look at the work of artists such as Robert Williams or Joe Coleman. The painting by Coleman, I am Joe's Fear of Disease, is especially striking, if pretty disturbing.

The more commercially accessible versions might be Gary Panter or Charles Burns.

Many stained glass artist don't know what to make of Scheachter's work. It seems so strange and wierd. I've never seen it as weird at all. Just reflective of a part of the culture that most stained glass artists are not involved with.

One creepy thing for me seeing her recent work is to see the dream balloon pieces. Not because the images are creepy - quite the opposite, they are some of her least brutal, almost sweet, images. The creepiness comes from the fact that I was designing 'dream balloon' panels at about the same time (starting in 2002, I believe), none of which I've yet made into panels yet. I suppose I got the idea from some of the early work of Art Spiegelman, who often played with the convention of word and thought balloons.

Posted by Tom at March 27, 2005 12:12 PM