Over the last 6 years I have focused my painting exclusively on the nude. My decision to do so came out of a deep desire to contemporize the most human but at the same time most rigidly limited art form that exists; the nude. Having explored this theme for some time, I am slowly beginning to comprehend what the forces are which have dictated our concept of what the nude can and cannot be in art.
To put the insight that I have gathered succinctly, simply, bluntly into one sentence I would say this; the nude in art as we know it throughout art history is primarily a product of the male gaze and it has been required to conform with the same aesthetic criteria with which the human body is judged from the male psycho-sexual perspective. Saying this sentence, the female artist can hear the pistols cock and the stomping boots. Prepare yourself for battle honey, nobody takes away the Playboy bunnies or the satin sheet nudes without a fight! My defense? To continue to explain ascomfortingly as possible, that I do not wish to take the objects of visual consumption away at all ! God forbid, they make people happy and we need them. However, there are perhaps other perspectives on the human form which are worth exploring. It is possible to contemplate the human form from a non sexually oriented position.
Nothing speaks more directly about the human condition than the human body. I would like my nudes to address the contemporary condition of dislocation from nature . We live in a time when we are aware that a radical break with our style of life is necessary in order to save the planet which hosts our existence and yet we have never before been more seduced by the pleasures of consumption. This psychological struggle is at the core of my work and is particularly apparent in my new painting in which a man literally fights between his two poles of identity; the animal and the consumer. Is this an exclusively "female" perspective on the nude ? I find that hard to believe, but I understand now that it takes a bit of adjusting . The world of art is opening to allow many new social, racial and gender related perspectives and adjust we must to the ever expanding boundaries. These are exciting times for art !
born: 1964, New York, New York
New York University, Bachelor of Science, 1986
The Monmouth Museum, First PLace, 32nd Annual Competition, New Jersey, USA, 2013
Artists Window, First Place, Faces Competition, Hamburg, Germany, 2012
SEHNAP Scholarship, New York University , 1982-1986
INPA 4, Manifest Press, Cincinnati, USA, 2014
Die Leinwand des Leibes, Kuenstlerverein Walkmuehle, Wiesbaden, Germany, 2013
LICHTFELD 13, Biennale Basel 2013, Basel, Switzerland, 2013
Lo Burn Magazine, Vol.3, Spring Edition 2014, Los Angeles, California, USA
selected solo or two-person exhibits
Galerie Stoerpunkt, Susannah Martin-Exhibition 5, Munich, Germany, 2015
Kunsthaus Essen, Susannah Martin Einzelausstellung, Essen, Germany, 2014
Galerie Stephan Stumpf, Susannah Martin - Primordial Tourists, Munich, Germany, 2012
Galerie Barthel, Kinder und Andere Menschen-Susannah Martin, Frankfurt, Germany 2011
selected group shows
The Artists Gaze- Seeing Women in the Twenty First Century, Sirona Fine Arts, Florida, 2015
Lichtenberg Reloaded!, Wilhelm Busch Museum, Hannover, Germany, 2015
SCOPE Basel 2014, LICHTFELD Gallery, Basel, Switzerland, 2014
Fresh Paint, Manifest Gallery, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2013