Gary Schneider was born in East London, South Africa, and has a BFA from the Michaelis School of Fine Art in Cape Town and an MFA from Pratt Institute in New York. Schneider is best known for his Genetic Self-Portrait series, which marries his interests of science, identity, and portraiture. In it he worked with materials ranging from nineteenth-century negatives to modern medical photo microscopy to challenge notions of portraiture and likeness, often using specimen samples from various parts of his own body. In his Nudes series, Schneider had his subjects lie on black velvet with their hands on their thighs, and takes an exposure that can last up to three hours. During that time, he draws light over their faces and bodies with a flashlight, producing subjects who appear both bruised and luminous.
His works are held by numerous institutions including the Art Institute of Chicago; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Mary O'Donnell Hulme
References:Kao, Deborah Martin. Gary Schneider: Portraits. New Haven: Yale University Press; Cambridge, MA: Harvard Art Museum, 2004.
Schneider, Gary. Genetic Self-Portrait. Syracuse, NY: Light Work, 1999.
Schneider, Gary. HandBook. New York: Aperture, 2010.
Schneider, Gary. Nudes. New York: Aperture, 2005.