Tuesday, July 29, 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

Monday, July 28, 2014

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
silkscreen print

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 place: "City canopy: contemporary photography inspired by the art of Amazon tribes".  Glow-in-the-dark tits shot through a stained glass window; what the hell?

Well, good luck, kiddo!  You really must be on your way...

© 2014 Suzanne Coley

Friday, July 25, 2014


 Lithograph print  (24"x 18")
Fortune Friday #11
Failure is the only opportunity to begin more intelligently.

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

Thursday, July 24, 2014

If we knew . . .

finding forms for upcoming artist's books
If we knew what we were doing it wouldn't be RESEARCH.
 - Albert Einstein
mathematics and storytelling
Math board: understanding different perspectives, June 2014

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


*étude for a limited edition artist's book
Cracked by Suzanne Coley

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

Queensbridge, NYC

Images and text by Suzanne Coley for limited edition artist's books about life growing up in New York City's Queensbridge.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Storytelling on fabric

Letter from a homeless man
Silkscreen on paper
Silkscreen: He hit a brick wall, July 19, 2014
I love paper, however some stories are better told on other mediums.
silkscreens on monoprints, The Travels
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.
storytelling on fabric
Fabric scrolls, Conversations with a homeless man
So, one of the things I wanted to capture with Letter from a Homeless Man was the humanity of a life on the edge.  
fabric scrolls, Conversations with a homeless man
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.  
silkscreen on fabric, Letter from a homeless man
It allowed me to "show" the story from the beginning . . . 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Fortune Friday #10

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

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

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Coco Looks Good, Part II

Coco Looks Good
 *étude for a limited edition artist's book
Coco Looks Good, linocut 24" x 18"
*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. 
Study for Coco Looks Good
Pulling the first proof on a real World Map, July 16, 2014
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

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

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.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Girl with the Curious Hat - Part 2

Smithsonian Folklife Festival 2014, Washington DC

Lots of dancing.

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.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Fortune Friday #9

We must have old memories and young hopes.
Fortune Fridays
 Lucky numbers: 9, 11, 14, 20, 34, 56
Linocut on antique map

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Thank you!

I would like to thank the collectors who have given my artwork great homes.  
Linocut and monoprint on rare antique paper (private collection)
- and thanks for viewing my blog

Monday, July 7, 2014

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.
Linocut on newspaper, "I'm a tough, tough cookie" by Suzanne Coley
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.  
Letter from a tough, tough cookie

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.
Linocut on newspaper with text
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

Friday, July 4, 2014

Fortune Friday #8

You should have a talk with your friend today.

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

Thursday, July 3, 2014

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 . . .

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