Susan Richman

Susan Richman

Artist Statement:

Creating a permanent record of the impermanence of our world fascinates me. Because of that fascination, I have composed in my studio images of insects, birds and small animals assembled with botanicals. These images reveal the clash between the beauty and the precarious state of our world. Inspired by Victorian Memento Mori, which were photos that exquisitely posed a deceased beloved family member in their finest clothes and surrounded by their favorite objects, I too pose my subjects in an imagined environment. With each photo, I am honoring and memorialize these insects and other small animals whose troubling decline make their recognition important and poignant.

As a child I was responsible for cleaning the bugs that smashed on our  car’s windshield after our nighttime family drives. This memory made me aware of the dramatic reduction of the insects found on my windshield and as an avid gardener, the alarming decrease of insects found in my garden. This observation inspired me to create my series Jenga that explores the juxtaposition between permanence and impermanence and the tension between control and chance. Carefully placed botanical materials, poured colored dyes and the subjects are placed on multiple sheets of glass then stacked to form a tower. Each sheet of glass is separated by Jenga blocks and can reach a perilous height. The finished assemblage is photographed resulting in an illusion, a fantasy environment that once captured is dismantled and washed away. It’s not hard to imagine our world crashing down like the Jenga blocks in the game that ultimately collapses as the supports necessary to sustain our environment are removed one by one.

 

Artist Bio:

Born in Washington, Pennsylvania, Richman now lives in Hastings on Hudson, a suburb of NYC. Her love affair with photography began her freshman year of college when she was forced to pick between art or math as a course elective. To the dismay of her parents who were hoping she would become a lawyer, she majored in Fine Arts with a focus on photography and upon graduation she began a successful career as a commercial photographer in Manhattan.

After years of photographing other people’s visions, she has evolved into an artist and educator. Prior to Covid, she was a teacher at The International Center for Photographer in NYC and is currently a member of the Upstream Gallery in NY.

Richman’s interests lie in exploring the link between existence, decay and loss. For the past decade, she has primarily concentrated on photographing images that focus on the damage to our environment by creating images that capture and preserve the fleeting nature of our world. Through art she hopes to increase awareness and inspire change.

Recent awards and recognitions include: 2021 Solo Exhibition of Jenga at The Cloud Gallery at the Griffin Museum; 2021 The Art Of New York Group exhibition at the Arkell Museum; 2021 Open Walls Arles; Finalist, 2021 Larry Salley Photography Award, ArtsWestchester;  Best Of Show, 2020 Non Member National Juried Exhibition, Salmagundi Club. Recent press includes being a featured artist in the 2021 spring edition of Hook Magazine and in both Create and F Stop Magazines in 2020. In 2019, The New York Times and The Washington Post highlighted her work in an article titled Elements Provide Inspiration at Architectural Digest Show 

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