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Showing posts from July, 2014

I don't regret ripping it off the wall

No, I'm done with the galleries.  They wouldn't touch me anyway ever since that “incident”.  Yeah, I made the news back then, but they got the story wrong.  But look, I thought she was trying to grab it from me, and she could have told me instead of "help! help! he's tryin’ to kill me!" You keep laughing, but I'm not joking. The reasons for making art couldn't be more different than the reasons for consuming it.

© 2014 Suzanne Coley

Letter from a Serious Man

Riding New York City subway trains inspired these letters.  Some have been forgotten. Some will remain with me forever.  Blogging has allowed me to process them through new media.  I share them with you now.

Letter from a Serious Man
by Suzanne Coley

You think I'm joking? I'm not joking!
These "contests" are a double rip-off.
Now check this out: the winners. First place -- the 2001 What’s-his-name prize recipient, FOR THE SAME WORK that won now! Must have been really ahead of her time, that one.
Still think I'm kidding? I'm not kidding! Now look here: here's my submission. "Urban jungle: Screen prints of urban scenes inspired by face and body painting of indigenous Amazon tribes."  See this?  They look like  five-color prints, but I did it with two, and got all those colors right! Now here's the "regret to inform -- many outstanding -- see you and your 40 bucks next year" letter; and here, 10 months later, an exhibition at that same pl…


Fortune Friday #11
Failure is the only opportunity to begin more intelligently.

Lucky numbers: 7, 9, 21, 25, 30, 55

If we knew . . .

If we knew what we were doing it wouldn't be RESEARCH.  - Albert Einstein


Cracked *étude for a limited edition artist's book
Cracked from the strain of sleeping With a junkie in tight shorts Stripes down the sides
Cracked from the train ride from Queensboro Plaza to E 59th street “You don’t belong on the Eastside”
Cracked from the positive pregnancy Test that puts life Inside her at 22 weeks
Cracked from the strain of being 15 In two months with three Years to go till graduation
Graffiti dreams scratched on invisible walls Cracked paint holds her brain Inside her head

Five in the morning she sneaks Into the only bedroom in the apartment
One deep breath Two swallows of hope Six names squeezed onto tiny yellow parchment Her government card,she steals it.
Her mother’s cracked out body stirs She stands still with the small paper to her chest The other body in the bed peeks out She stares back with defiance Crack fiend turns over She quickly leaves the apartment
What will become of her brothers She writes on the wall with her blood
Don’t fall into the cracks

Storytelling on fabric

Letter from a homeless man I love paper, however some stories are better told on other mediums.
What I remember most about homeless shelters: Arriving with just the clothes on your back and no bags.  How quickly clothes became tattered.  The shelter was the last stop on a long, long journey. So, one of the things I wanted to capture with Letter from a Homeless Man was the humanity of a life on the edge.   How it looks from the inside to "fall apart" and to lose everything.  While printing, I realized that fabric did something that paper couldn't quite do.   It allowed me to "show" the story from the beginning . . . 

Fortune Friday #10

Go for gold today!
You'll be the champion of whatever.

Lucky numbers: 07, 10, 14, 18, 20, 38

Coco Looks Good, Part II

Coco Looks Good  *étude for a limited edition artist's book *Thirteen, I was thirteen when I was six I tried to tell the judge, but he didn’t want to hear it.  He didn’t understand ghetto arithmetic and I didn’t understand judicial equations – especially when he gave me four years when I was thirteen.  The doc told me this day was going to come if I didn’t cut back.  “How do you get $3500 a week anyway?” he asked.  All I could say was “Coco looks good.”
*Excerpt from Coco Looks Good, a song without music
Images and text by Suzanne Coley for limited edition artist's books about life growing up in New York City's Queensbridge

Coco Looks Good, Part I

Coco Looks Good
étude for a limited edition artist's book
“Coco looks good,” she’d say as I slid that tiny elastic tube top over my hips and rolled those fishnets with seams-on-the-back up my calves.
“How high did you go?  What did you take?” the ER doc shouts in my face before jamming the long needle into my chest.  “Coco, this is the third time in two weeks; third time in two weeks.” “She’s a frequent flyer with no insurance. Don’t touch her.”  Too late.  It’s always too late.  It’s an emergency, like my life.  How many emergencies do we get?  Depends on how many grams I can get.  5 gram a day lady am I.  Coco looks good when I watch my reflection through the white powdery hills on my little square mirror.

*Coco Looks Good is part of an upcoming series of limited edition handmade books (with original poetry, letters, and imagery) about growing up in NYC's Queensbridge.

Girl with the Curious Hat - Part 2

The girl with the curious hat ended her day with many thoughts about what she saw in Washington DC on that hot summer day.

She is still on the hunt for that antique loom that weaves magical ribbons.

Fortune Friday #9

We must have old memories and young hopes.  Lucky numbers: 9, 11, 14, 20, 34, 56

Thank you!

I would like to thank the collectors who have given my artwork great homes.   - and thanks for viewing my blog

Letter from a tough, tough cookie

Letter from a tough, tough cookie étude for a limited edition handcrafted book
Me - I'm a fearless woman.  I'm a tough, tough cookie.  I've been through more scrapes than I would care to count.
Now, I'm not gonna be walking through these woods.  Not 'cause I'm scared, I'm just prudent.  I just don't do squirrels.  You just never know what they are up to.
I don't do narrow roads.  I've got to have my escape routes.  I'm a tough cookie, I've been through so many scrapes, exits are the first things I look for when I enter.
That's not fear, that's just experience.  Yeah, I wouldn't drive down this road.  That's just too narrow for me at this point in time. Not that I'm afraid, mind you.  Nothing makes me afraid.  I'm a tough, tough cookie.

*Part of upcoming artist's books about growing up in New York City in the 1980s.
Text and imagery from Letter from a tough, tough cookie ©2011 Suzanne Coley

Fortune Friday #8

You should have a talk with your friend today.

Lucky numbers: 4, 8, 14, 20, 34, 54

Girl with the Curious Hat

Yesterday, I visited DC.  The experience was so surreal that I decided to blog about it in the following way:

coming soon . . .