Susan's "subject matter, context and medium...present a coherent artistic vision"
John Torreano, Clinical Professor of Studio Art, NYU

"Great stuff. Love your work."
Seymour Chwast

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Thursday, March 25, 2010


One of my criteria for deciding whether a work is art or not is as follows: If you think about it after you see it, whether it be a play, movie, painting, concert, or book, it is art. If you don't think about it after you see it, even if you enjoyed it for the moment, it is not art.

Recently I saw an extremely heavy late night movie on TV. Its content was disturbing - murder, annihilation and oppression, and it was set in turbulent times. That made it difficult to watch, but I liked the lead characters (two innocent little boys), the lighting, photography, scenery, dialogue and the screen play, so I stayed with it. The story of the forbidden friendship of the boys and the haunting results of their friendship moved me. I couldn't forget about it after I saw it. I thought about it the entire next day as I went about my painting.

At dinner that night with a friend, I tried to start a conversation about the little boys and the artistry of the movie itself. I was told not to talk about the movie and that, though it was a work of fiction, it was offensive. I explained that the part I wanted to discuss was about the boys' relationship which was wholesome and uplifting and showed a light in all that darkness. No matter, the gag order was still on. I was compliant but my friend made me feel totally oppressed which, ironically, was the part of the movie that so offended him.

If he came upon me working on a painting containing subject matter he didn't like, I wonder, would he break my paint brushes?