The Uncanny Sweetness of a Fleeting Moment: Sarah Schneider from Pittsburgh

Once in a while we find art that hits a main vein of our generation. Sarah Schneider captures a sense of melancholic sweetness, nostalgia and uneasy silence — all at the same time. Her unpeopled interior scenes are a break in time, a late night moment of insight, after a day alone, into the mysterious unity of everything. They remind us how uncanny, intriguing and precarious our lives are, then there is a slight sadness in realizing that these moments of insight are fleeting, as we’re required to be back on the horse the next day. Her work bottles up these short-lived disjunctures in time.

Sarah Schneider examines themes like memory, isolation, ‘wonder of the ordinary’, silence, materialism and decay. Her images are a tender counterbalance to our overconsumption of media, glamor and our egoistic obsessions. In her own words:

“The images I create usually begin with something found — a place (church basement, gas station restroom, a friend’s bedroom), an object (a torn shirt, junk mail, a jar of peanut butter), or a preexisting image (a thrift store photograph, an advertisement from a 1960s LIFE magazine). Through a process of narrative building and free association, I create composite images from the things I find. With a devotion to the observational, I create work to celebrate, or simply to cope with, a world of melancholic absurdity, before it slips away.”

Sarah Schneider was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She earned a BFA from New York University in 2011 and is a soon to be graduate of the Maryland Institute and College of Art with an MFA in Illustration.

The mellow moment of calm after the drama:


basementwithradioBasement with Radio

yellowbathroomYellow Bathroom

basementwithsignBasement with Sign

roomatnightRoom at Night


Alice Zhang

Alice Zhang

Creative Director at Stew