Susan Lisbin (lisbin)
I am a multimedia, abstract artist. My art is concerned with relationships, establishing a presence and relating to the immediate environment. I am not afraid to make sexual allusions. I love the aggressiveness of a gesture and the rawness and contrast of materials
Art has always provided a forum for me to release my emotions. For much of my life, I was in a repressive marriage. I felt submissive and had little sense of self-worth. I tried to use my art as a means of escape, but I could never fully liberate my images from the environment that surrounded me. I obscured the energy in my paintings through heavy layering and limited color.
Five years ago, I got divorced. I no longer had someone criticizing me daily. I could wake up and concentrate on what I wanted because I had a renewed sense of confidence in my own potential. My personal growth also helped me to realize more of the meaning behind the images and process in my art.
My artistic expression is increasingly emphatic and explicit. The colors I use are bolder and I am no longer afraid of extremes. My new work embraces both beauty and ugliness. Images, space, and color have become more defined. Each image owns its presence and manages to establish a relationship in the space. The images have a staying power and a strong connection to the surroundings. I am not afraid to make sexual allusions. I love the aggressiveness of a gesture and the rawness and contrast of materials.
The materials that I choose have multiple associations and possibilities, including both physical and emotional levels. For example, years ago, my sister brought me back a bracelet from Africa that had a metal blade for self-defense. I was fascinated by the juxtaposition of the jewelry’s aesthetic appeal with its potential for violence. When I incorporated a razor into my Taskmaster sculpture, my intention was to invoke this dichotomy. Another material that I often use is dryer lint. Lint has a soft comforting feeling, yet at the same time it is associated with garbage. Washing and drying is also still connected with women and these chores are seen as insignificant domestic pursuits.
During the last few years, I have expanded my style to encompass large found objects. These objects often play a central role in my art. I have even taken apart some of my furniture for this purpose. I enjoy reacting to the way my paint adheres to different surfaces, especially wood. Furthermore, the process of reinventing the furniture that defined so much of my married life has helped me to restore many of the memories these items contain. Stellar Remnants, my recent triptych on the leaves of my former dining room table exemplifies this concept.
Instead of being embarrassed about my feelings, I want to be honest and share my art. I want people to notice me and understand what I have to say. I realize that I want to communicate my transformation to others.
2007 “Essex Exposed5-Jurried Exhibition Essex County Artists” Pierro Gallery of
South Orange – South Orange, NJ
2006 “Connections” Court Gallery of the Ben Shahn Galleries at William Paterson
University - Wayne, NJ
2006 “Women Celebrate the Lively Arts” Make Ready Press Gallery/ 214 Art Space
- Montclair, NJ
2005 “As She Sees It” Pierro Gallery of South Orange – South Orange, NJ
2005 - 1997 Prints on file Rabbet Gallery – New Brunswick, NJ
2004 “Postcard Show” A.I.R. Gallery - NYC, NY
2004 “Portrait Show” Studio Montclair JCC - Hanover Twp, NJ
2003 “Member Show” Summit Art Center - Summit, NJ
1999 “One Woman Show” Presbyterian Church - Franklin Lakes, NJ
1998 “One Woman Show” Union Camp - Wayne, NJ
1998 “The Best of Salute” Watchung Arts Center - Watchung, NJ
1998 “Long Time No See” Art Center of Northern New Jersey - New Milford, NJ
1997 “National Juried Exhibition of Small Works” Montclair State University
Art Galleries - Montclair, NJ
1996 “Project Room” M13 Howard Scott Gallery - New York, NY
1996 “ Montclair in Manhattan” Westbeth Gallery – New York, NY
1995 “Paperworks, Solo Show’’ Old Church Cultural Center - Demarest, NJ
1993 “O.I.A. Salon Show” - New York, NY
1993 “Audubon Artists Exhibition” - New York, NY
July 2005 Painting, Vermont Studio - Johnson, Vermont