As a child, Sarah Schechter (b. 1995, New York City) encountered Edvard Munch’s painting Melancholy (1893). The experience awakened a deep realization that artists can show glimpses of deep romantic hope even while representing images of loss and profound sorrow. Schechter strives to embody this pursuit through her work and presents an urgent call to feel deeply—whatever feeling that may be.

Sarah Schechter possess a unique disposition of spirit; she can absorb the chaos and dark humor around us, and then empathetically reflect it back to the world in meaningful yet still playful ways. The media for her messages are thickly-applied oil paintings– laced with sea shells, beads, glitter, sand and stones– drawings, and happily wonky ceramic forms depicting despondent pizza slices and otherworldly creatures ready to play. In her paintings, the subjects drift from almost realistic renderings of herself with her dog Mac and a solitary walrus lounging under a psychedelic pink moon, to nearly indiscernible forms that conjure up thoughts of spirits and disembodied living energy.

These works emanate equal measures of worry and hope, and Schechter’s processes bask in the discovery of wildly impulsive creation. Her compositions and subject matter come to life as multiple layers of oil paint build up, in the process both generating and defining her imagery. Whimsical depictions of flora, fauna and human-like forms remind us that the earth is not thrilled with our intrusions, and that immediate change is needed. Schechter seeks to humanize these victims of “progress” and remind us that the Earth is a sacred place in need of love; however, there are also elements of wild celebration and uninhibited joy that laugh in the face of these paradoxes we all live in—elements that keep life interesting.