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Kim Schoenstadt's many-layered mural at LACE

March 25, 2011 |  4:31 pm


How do you describe a year-long, three-curator, four-phase, multiple-artist collaborative project that involves building layers upon layers of painting on the gallery walls — and then exposing the core geologic layer in the form of an abstract drawing — to people who haven’t seen it? Artist Kim Schoenstadt finds herself in that situation with “Painted Over/Under" at LACE, a long-running project now nearing completion that is the subject of this Calendar story.

While she uses other points of reference to shed light on the work, such as a truck in her neighorhood in Venice that has accumulated layers of graffiti (and layers of paint jobs covering up the tagging), she also finds herself sending people links to the project’s Flickr and Tumblr websites to help them get oriented. The photographs there document the painting, overpainting and excavating process so thoroughly that it acts like a time-lapse video.

“It’s a very messy project in some ways,” says Schoenstadt. “It’s not the easiest project to explain.”

Or, for that matter, promote. When sending out email invites to friends and family letting them know about this Sunday’s opening of her show at LACE, she superimposed her own architectural drawing (one that serves as a sort of matrix for the project) on a snapshot of that graffiti-laden truck in Venice.

“My mother still doesn’t get it,” she says. “She thinks the truck will be in the gallery.”

--Jori Finkel



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Photo: Portrait of Kim Schoenstadt with Part Four of her work, "Painted Over/Under," at LACE. Credit: Jay Clendinen/ For The Times.