Linda Friedman Schmidt

Linda Friedman Schmidt's picture
Linda Friedman Schmidt
Job Title: 
Visual Artist
Organization: 
Linda Friedman Schmidt Studio
Country or Region: 
Linda Friedman Schmidt is a self-taught artist known for her emotional narrative portraits and figurative artworks created from discarded clothing. She was born stateless in a German displaced persons camp, the first child of scarred Holocaust survivors who met and married in the camp. Her parents spent four years in the camp waiting for a country to accept them.
 
Linda was raised in Brooklyn, New York, an immigrant child of refugees who faced language barriers and struggled to find a balance in their new lives. She grew up under the shadow of the Holocaust, caught up in the emotional burden weighing down the family. She bore witness to the traumatization of her parents who were haunted by a past they could never speak about. Her mother was emotionally unavailable, her father was angry, prone to violent rages, unpredictable and frightening.
 
Her artistic medium, discarded clothing, alludes to discarded humanity. She gives new life to the discards, rescues, and transforms them. Her process of cutting and tearing the clothing into strips relates to mourning, violence, the tear in the fabric of families. In a bold, authentic second generation voice she shines a light on little-discussed issues often shoved under the rug. She depicts the suffering of the second generation, the common threads running through the fabric of the lives of survivors’ children, the difficulties of refugees and immigrants. Fueled by pain inherited, her artwork is shaped by the intergenerational transfer of trauma. It deals with emotional suffering, pain inflicted by one human being unto another. The sad emotionally scarred human beings depicted reflect her childhood.
 
Linda Friedman Schmidt’s thought-provoking artwork has been exhibited extensively in museums and galleries throughout the USA and also internationally. What makes her art significant is its ability to make the viewer reflect emotionally and intellectually. She is an artist unafraid to tell the unvarnished truth, to confront her family’s dark history, to address taboo and controversial subjects.