Painting Out Loud: New Works by Susan Shup
13 November - 23 December 2009
Moving effortlessly from irony to subtlety to pure joy, SUSAN SHUP creates paintings that are her own unique form of mischievous yet serious and timely narration.
Paris–based American, Susan Shup, is an artist who paints and also works in media and design. Shup becomes a part of her work by exploring the multi-faceted aspects of an artist’s life such as notions of self-promotion, appearance, and timidity. By doing so, Shup simultaneously acts as both the artist and the subject in her Marais studio, known as the SHUPSHOP.
The SHUPSHOP, however, is not merely a studio. It is also one of her preferred subject matters. The SHUPSHOP becomes the stage as she explores different representations of the artist's studio, “factory” or production company in her videos and paintings. The SHUPSHOP is also her trademark, which sometimes crosses the sacred divide between art and commerce by lending itself to retail applications.
Susan Shup mixes personal and historical elements, with those of art and pop culture (like rock and roll and TV) to create her witty and vibrant works. Shup’s art has been featured in numerous international publications and is included in many prestigious private and corporate collections.
“My work is a kind of ‘painting out loud’. I’ve always written and kept drawing journals and use this content as iconography. Music, especially rock and roll is an important part of my life in the studio, and I like to record sound as spoken word poetry but also to transcribe it directly with paint on canvas, usually directly from the tube.
The videos I make about contemporary art history employ a fake TV documentary format and the real and fictional producer that I am constantly ‘promoting’ in the videos is my own SHUPSHOP (‘where quality is our message’, etc).
Drawing on my computer is as natural to me as drawing on paper, and I like the possibilities for visual shock that digital drawing allows. I find it intriguing to see my art come to life in other mediums like animation. It thrills me to have my drawings walk down the street on a dress, t-shirt or bag or to see it blown up and printed huge on the wall.
I use language in my painting either in a dada-like « out of context way », where the words are often more abstract than narrative, more about the sound: DA DA, but I do like telling stories in some of the paintings, and they’re usually stories about artists, or the words reference particular events.
Perhaps the pop nature of some of my painting content allows me the balance needed to work everyday, to render what is essentially serious: painting, user-friendly.” -Susan Shup