Finding Beauty in the Scars

By Jack Raplee

There is almost a haunting optimism in the art of Rene Romero Schuler. Shadowy, non‐descript figures pervade her paintings, yet the take‐away is anything but negative, frightening or eerie. For Schuler, the underlying beauty of the human experience, amidst hardships, pain, suffering and various imperfections is wonderfully communicated in her work.

“We are all beautiful,” she explains. “There is an inherent frailty in humanity, yet it’s the very imperfections of life that actually define our beauty.” The figures in her paintings are purposefully stripped of defining characteristics so often used as the means by which beauty is typically measured, leaving only a basic human form as the focal point... and that is where every person’s beauty is truly found, according to Schuler. The figures are both everyone and no one at the same time driving her conviction that while each individual is unique, the underlying beauty is universal. The meaning, she says, comes from the representation of the (human) image, but not from the image itself.

Drawing significantly from personal experience, the Chicago‐based artist explains that she doesn’t specifically focus on her own demons as she works, though they are battled therapeutically in the process. In the end, her art speaks broadly to any person’s struggles introspectively and ultimately optimistically as well.

Rene Romero Schuler works in both two‐dimensional (painting) and three‐dimensional (sculpture) disciplines as this broadens her ability to express such universal beauty in her art.

For more about Rene Romero Schuler, please visit her website: