Shelbi Schroeder @ Art Motel
The key to understanding photographer and performance artist Shelbi Schroeder is her ability to use concepts and motifs from fantasy to create tension in her artwork by alternating between an openness “naked” honesty about real women’s bodies and elements more familiar, e.g. gazing and voyeurism from a male point of view. In various media, she exposes women’s discomfort or lack of esteem in the face of artificial beauty standards. Other works, veiled and contemplative seem to represent the unknown component of feminine sexuality, e.g. pure pleasure and self-acceptance.
As a woman living this world, Schroeder’s work is autobiographical in some sense, but also speaks of a larger more universal feminine experience, e.g. living in a society where the natural state and power of a woman’s body is devalued. Schroeder’s work takes many forms, in her performative and interactive project Instax, the participants were provide with cameras, and asked to document their bodies everyday for a period of three to six months. She had hoped that rather than promoting discomfort or shame, the project would allow the men and women engage with their bodies with respect and love.
I try to promote the natural body, being the body you are. When I moved to Northern California I felt insecure about my body type. I was always a bigger girl, I was always plus-size, all the terms that you hear when you’re not skinny. I just started being obsessed with who I am and able to love who I am without having to hide behind clothing and hide behind my cellulite and hide behind my rolls. I just realized, this is who I am. I cannot worry about how other people perceive what I am. ~ Schroeder
Schroeder often works in series or special projects that explores the fine line between models of “normal” sexuality and pleasure in fetish.
As an artist whose interest is in photographing herself (and others) naked and exploring body issues while celebrating her curves, Schroeder documents herself as an example of what it means to be a non-surgically enhanced woman in the 21st century. ~ Las Vegas Sun
White Series (2015), Fujifilm Instax, 12″ x 12″, Photography, $500 each