Friday, July 1, 2016

Pierrot Lunaire

I am finally gaining insight into my newest works in paper (The artist is always the last to know...).

As you know, they had the working title, Tropes but are clearly concurrent with Pierrot Lunaire by the Belgian writer, Albert Giraud.

Fables, tropes, and the absurd. Dreamlike, fractured, nocturnal. Stories that are told without telling coalesce into potent though uncertain relationships.
Within a theater of recurring figures and gestures, a disconcerted balance of undiscovered and ambiguous histories emerge as metatheatre — improvisation and invention, parody and burlesque a world of lunacy, deceit, disorder, and confusion.

In my Pierrot, man and animal trade body parts, morph into mists and smoke and touch each other in ambiguous spaces. With these tropes on the fabulous and fractured, all is possible.

Here's a preview:

Susan Shaw, A host of playful pranks
cotton, linen, trash pulp  2016

Susan Shaw, Linen spun of light
cotton, linen, trash pulp  2016

Susan Shaw, The fountain laughs in it's pool 
cotton, linen, wood, trash pulp  2016

Thursday, April 21, 2016

New Tropes taking on a life of their own.

As you know I have been working on a series of Tropes at Dieu Donné Papermill...large works in handmade paper.  All painting done with pigmented pulp—cotton, linen and trash pulp.
handmade paper trope 022 susan shaw 2016

Susan Shaw 2016  60" x 40" Trope 005 (green deer) cotton, linen and trash pulp


Thursday, March 3, 2016

Pulling Pulp

Catching up. I spent the month of September at the  Women's Studio Workshop. I had the paper studio residency all to myself and how great it was. WSW is an incredibly supportive place. Everyone is very encouraging no matter what you are trying to accomplish. Chris Petrone the studio manager and the interns were beyond great. Chris helped me wrestle with fibers I had never tried before. Tana the Artistic Director and co-founder got me using the vacuum press, a noisy novelty. The other artists in residence were also interesting. My apartment mate, artist Wei Jane Chir, was working on a book about organ harvesting. Interesting photos floating around when I got home at night... All of this helped me to create more than fifty works during my residency.  Add all that to the glorious fall weather and wow—you should try it yourself. Read more about it in this article.

Photos by Chelsea Campbell

Friday, January 9, 2015

Je Suis Charlie

The comic world is a small one and Kurt knew some of those killed. It is so very sad. As a tribute, I have made a poster in the style of those I saw during the 1968 student protests in Paris. With hope for a better world, la lutte continue!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Dieu Donné Benefit and Ann Hamilton too!

Dieu Donné is the world's leading cultural institution dedicated to serving established and emerging artists through the collaborative creation of cutting-edge contemporary art using the process of hand papermaking. As you know I work there frequently, and have met some of the wonderful artists who collaborate with them.Last night was their annual benefit. It was great, in addition to a silent auction, they honored Ann Hamilton and  performed her piece, Page Sounding. 

Below are some snapshots from the event,  a short clip of the performance and a video of the process at Dieu Donné  to make that paper.


Friday, October 24, 2014

W.A.G.E. Rage — an Update

I'm happy to write this follow up to a blog post I wrote in 2009, called W.A.G.E. Rage. It's been one of my most popular posts. I wrote about how W.A.G.E., Working Artists for a Greater Economy, is trying to create a model for artists to earn money from their work in a lot of different ways. Here's some good news I received in a recent email from W.A.G.E.:

"W.A.G.E. just launched W.A.G.E. Certification, a paradigm-shifting model for the remuneration of artistic labor.
Initiated and operated by W.A.G.E., Certification is a program that publicly recognizes non-profit arts organizations that demonstrate a history of, and commitment to, voluntarily paying artist fees—it is also the first of its kind in the U.S. that establishes a sector-wide minimum standard for compensation, as well as a clear set of guidelines and standards for the conditions under which artistic labor is contracted.

W.A.G.E. worked in dialog with artists, arts organizations, writers, sociologists, labor historians, and critical theorists over the past four years to produce a scalable model that can be applied across the non-profit arts economy in all its variation: from small artist-runspaces struggling to support a single employee to large institutions with hundreds of full-time workers and top salaries in the seven figures.

We are also proud to announce that, working with W.A.G.E. over the past year as part of a two-year Research Partnership, Artists Space has met the policy’s requirements and paid fees meeting a minimum standard specified by the program’s fee calculator—making it the first organization to be W.A.G.E. Certified.

If you know our work, then you know that these are major achievements in the history of W.A.G.E. What you may not know is that for the past six years we have operated on speaking, writing and workshop fees. It's a miracle we've lasted this long.

W.A.G.E. can only keep fighting for equitable compensation if we ourselves are compensated.

We are asking you, as our constituency and our community, to join W.A.G.E. by directly supporting us: help us raise $75,000 by making a tax-deductible donation to Wages 4 W.A.G.E. Funds will be applied directly to minimal overhead costs, which include paying our dedicated organizers a living wage. We cannot W.A.G.E. RAGE without you!

W.A.G.E. Certification's guidelines and fee calculator are at

To support Wages 4 W.A.G.E. please go to"

I am excited to say, "For the times they are a changin'"

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Selfie Ergo Sum

O.K. I'm still obsessed with selfies at the moment, even though the first usage is reported as early as 2002.  I looked up some definitions:

Merriam – Webster    self·ie   noun \ˈsel-fē\  An image of oneself taken by oneself using a digital camera especially for posting on social networks

Oxford English Dictionary   Syllabification: sel·fie   Pronunciation: /ˈselfē  (also selfy)   NOUN (plural selfies)   informal  A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social mediaoccasional selfies are acceptable, but posting a new picture of yourself everyday isn’t necessary    selfie   [sel-fee] Spell Syllables   noun, Informal.  A photograph that one takes of oneself with a digital camera or a front-facing smartphone, tablet, or webcam, especially for posting on a social-networking or photo-sharing website.

There are lots floating around on the web, even lots of articles like: The 29 Greatest Selfies Of All Time from the Huffingto Post.

Hashtag fundraising is something which has become hugely prevalent in the last few months. This new popular method of fundraising seems to offer the holy trinity of selfiedom. exposure, cachet and self congratulation. In our increasingly media conscious lives, it is hard to feel meaningful. 

Probably the most famous was #icebucketchallenge. From home movies (home videos?) to Bill Gates well produced video,  according to the BBC over 2.4 million ice bucket-related videos were posted on Facebook. Did that really translate into money for the charity? Yes and No. The money did go up for many charitable organisations. Pre-ice bucket, the MND Association was receiving about £200,000 a week in donations while between 22-29 August, it received £2.7m. The danger is that people may feel "done" and if the charity doesn't come up with something else as "fun," it may lose supporters very quickly.

The success of the ice bucket challenge was entirely different to that of #nomakeupselfie. It's viral nature was a result of its nomination capacity. Those completing the challenge asked  friends to follow suit within 24 hours, and thus Facebook newsfeeds were taken over by the videos, with a better than average chance of nomination for everyone.

William MacAskill, founder of 80,000 Hours, publicly came out against the ice bucket challenge stating, "The challenge gives you a way to very publicly demonstrate your altruism via a painful task, despite actually accomplishing very little (on average, not including those who don't donate at all, a $40 gift, or 0.07% of the average American household's income): it's geared up to make you feel as good about your actions as possible, rather than to ensure that your actions do as much good as possible."

Ultimately only time will tell if #hashtagfundraising increases our propensity to give and to generate more selfies, or just allows us to feel better while doing less.

Getting to the art part of friend during at the San Francisco Art Institute and a great phitographer, Adal Maldinado, has been doing elegant and interesting takes on the selfie. These next images are from his book of self-portraits, "I Was A Squizophrenic Mambo Dancer for the FBI" by Pull Press, NY, 1990-2006

You can see more at!auto-portraits   But what I like the best are some of his very recent ones from work called "GO F_CK YOUR Selfie." It's on Facebook now along with fans who have submitted their own selfies in response.  

Hmmm, groups, responses, charity, art and more— doesn't sound so selfie to me.