The tension of loss and temptation, the modern voodoo in contextualizing detritus as keepsake: there is a fearlessness at the heart of Aurel Schmidt's work that has mesmerized the likes of Jeffrey Deitch, Dakis Joannou, and the Whitney Museum to name just a few of her followers. Although Schmidt's style varies greatly from that of Kara Walker, both artists refuse to tone down their often confrontational subject matter for any one particular audience, an admirable quality in today's contemporary art world. She is perhaps best known for her explorations of grotesque beauty (think cigarette burns and banana peels), but it is simply one of the many paradoxes embedded in her sculptural drawings. As Robert Rauschenberg once said, "I think a painting is more like the real world if it's made out of the real world." Anyone familiar with Aurel Schmidt's art must be inclined to agree.