The visual parade of urban life is my source for inspiration. Crisp and vivid or fleeting and fugitive, the montage of images provides me with rich reference material in the studio. The figure takes the center stage, as narrator, actor and symbol.
My artistic practice is a fusion of planning, process, and discovery. I begin with a series of drawings to develop a concept; I make notes about clay color, and finishes; when working directly with the clay material, I stay alert to its expressive possibilities.
My approach is a combination of practiced skill and reckless disregard for convention. I sacrifice lifelike anatomy to questions of composition and gesture. I use both high and low-fire clays. I am a confirmed alchemist, always testing new formulas. I use any material with clay - paint, metal, found objects - that serve the idea. I've often said "Use all your options," and I actually do take my own advice.
from perception to realization
"There is a vast landscape over these pieces that required close attention. Each piece (is) an invitation to a long conversation with the viewer. I wanted to hang out with them, pull up a chair, get to know them and hear stories about them - like I feel when I read a good book."
"The creations of award-winning California artist Susannah Israel reflect a deep understanding of our collective past."
"Susannah Israel’s “Le Sacre du Printemps,” vibrantly hot-hued and textured with saturated color spilling from the figure’s hands onto a primitive piano keyboard, bears a startling resemblance to its surroundings.
The Oakland artist’s intuitive storytelling approach, translated into three-dimensions, “is intended to celebrate and serenade the garden setting.”
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