artist statement 2017

I listen to the news, compulsively turning it off and on and off again.
I remember my father reading the newspaper and saying,
“the world is no worse now than it ever was”.
He’d laugh to himself and continue reading.

Do I believe him?
I go into the studio to sift through my uncertainty.

I show up and images appear.
They surface and become drawings, cutouts or develop into sculpture.
Sometimes they are humorous, sometimes vulnerable or aggressive
but most often they are raw with compassion.

Each situation emerges as a mirror image of the world.
These are reflections of our best or most foolish selves.

What comes into focus is a mix of our fallibility, our beauty and our penchant for
both love and destruction.
Humanity is inscrutable and I expect nothing less of art.

We need art.
We use it to view reality. It’s an attempt at comprehending the unfathomable and ambiguous.
We recognize our darkness and our light.

By making these images I face the tension between struggle and surrender.
Joy and love and loss are our birthright.
Magnificence and abjectness belong to all of us.

As humans we possess the stunning ability to laugh and grieve in the same breath.
Our moments here are delicious and fleeting.
This is our imperfect beauty.

Our uncertainty is where we live.
It really doesn’t matter if I believe my father.

Susan Calza 2017