Monday, December 11, 2006

Art Space Talk: Edith Suchodrew

I recently interviewed artist Edith Suchodrew. Edith has exhibited throughout the world and has been featured in prestigious magazines such as 'Art in America'. She is known for her portraits and figurative allegories on tragic and humanistic themes.

Edith has devoted herself to artistic creation. In the past she worked in a more tradition manner. She has created many etchings and oil paintings, but is now utilizing computer graphics and animation as a means of expanding her expressive abilities. She shared some of these works for this interview.

Suchodrew refers to her new pieces as "computergraphic paintings," and indeed they possess a chromatic richness and a fluidity that is far more painterly than one is used to encountering in digital art.

For Suchodrew, the computer appears to be a tool for extending her imagistic capabilities rather than a departure from her previous work, judging from the compositions on permanent view in the year-round salon exhibition at World Fine Art Gallery

Q. When did you first discover that art would be an important part of your adult life?

A. "As a 7 - year-old I won the competition on the subject "space".

After 5 years of general school I was accepted into the art school at the Academy of the arts in Riga after a competition …

At 20 years of age I already took part in exhibitions. In the same year was also my first single organized exhibition... and so on and so on..."

Q. Tell me a little about your background. Are your past experiences reflected in the work you do today? If so, how?

A. "I was born in Eupatoria, but was raised in Riga , USSR , behind the iron curtain. There I used to live with my father, my brother and sister and my mother - Doris Suchodrew (Poet and Diploma Biologist - Physiologist), my entire life until to the departure to Germany in 1991.

My mother with her family, as a child (1940-1941) wished to emigrate to America . The family lived in Riga , Latvia and they had got the papers for the emigration, but our history was changed. With the invasion of the Soviets in 1940 - a long and sad ordeal began.

My mother, grandmother and grandfather came to Siberia . On the 14th June 1941 - at night - they were deported and forced to do hard labour work in Siberia and high north till 1945. Afterwards, they returned to their homecity Riga . But the dream about freedom did not die out.
Now I am free ! My pictures can be seen by the whole world !

In my artistic life I have developed a deep interest for different Cultures of the World and have created a great cycle of bigformatic water - colours under the title: "On the traces for ancient cultures."

Works from me, are in the ownership of Museums and private collectors in many countries. I, Edith Suchodrew, have exhibited my oils, watercolors, and graphic works throughout the World, winning numerous prizes and prestigious awards. So, as you can tell, the freedom to do this is important to me."

Q. Discuss one of your pieces. What were you thinking when you created it?

A. "I want to describe my picture "Phenomenon" (image above) in some words. Art is told heavily with words, it’s far better to see it on your own.

It is a Computer graphic painting. Mystical and fascinating at the same time. It looks very magical and beautiful. The colours and the composition embrace the power of the Heavens and other worldly places.
Eyes observe us and everything that surrounds us. Mystical shapes romp and we are eyewitnesses to something unreal. The origins of which can't be grasped by words. Perhaps it is a new planet?! Maybe a new life?! The spectator must decide for himself!"

Q. How long have you been a working artist?

A. "Since my first exhibition in 1974 in Riga. I've had 63 individual exhibitions. All this from a former graduate of the Academy of Arts in the Latvian capital... 32 years of artistic creation. My pictures have been exhibited from Latvia to Sweden , from Canada to Panama , in several countries of Europe and Overseas."

Q. What do you hope people see in your work?

A. "I am glad, if my art makes people thoughtful and lucky. I expect each person to have different thoughts about the same picture."

Q. Where can we see more of your art?

A. "My Internet Site : .

Galleries : physically and online throughout the world .

If you enter my name " suchodrew " on the web , You'll find my art works exhibited at different galleries around the world. From Europe to America to Australia .

The books : Art Addiction 100 Contemporary Artists ; " Famous " - 120 Contemporary Artists - from World of Art Publishing / Stockholm, Sweden / London, England.

Reviews in the Art Magazin : 2000, 2001 WORLD of ART - contemporary art magazine . Gallery & Studio - February , March 2006 / New York . ARTisSpectrum - Magazine - October 2006 / New York . NY Arts Magazine / New York , USA … et cetera"

Q. Are you represented by a gallery? Do you any have upcoming exhibitions?

A. "Yes, I am represented by a gallery, the World Fine Art Gallery in New York , USA , where I am a Permanent Artist, and in the gallery "Il Quadro" in Aachen , Germany , I am represented as well.

In 2007 I have several upcoming exhibitions: in New York in January in World Fine Art Gallery. I am very glad for this exhibition."

Q. Any tips for emerging artists?

A. "Hold your head highly! Go your way and don’t stray away from it."

Q. What was the toughest point in your career as an artist? Have you ever hit rock-bottom?

A. "At the end of the 80’s I was not included in exhibitions in Latvia as a Jewish woman, because it was said that, "those were our (Latvian exhibition) and not your (Jewish exhibition)". Fate wanted differently! And now I live in freedom!

Q. In one sentence... why do you create art?

A. "Art is my entire life and my calling."

Q. Can we find your art on MYARTSPACE.COM?

A. "Yes, Yes, of course ! edithsuchodrew.

Q. What can you tell our readers about the art scene in your area?

A. "Aachen is a city with interesting museums and art life. For example : Ludwig Forum for international art .

The first presentation of the recent American Pop scene in Aachen 1969 by Professor Peter Ludwig was a true impact. It leads to the establishment of the " New gallery - collection Ludwig ". Soon the museum Ludwig in Cologne opened its gates. It was promoted as the flagship of the collection and highlighted classical authors.

The programmer of the " New gallery " and later "Ludwig Forum for international art " was directly connected with the often bold development steps of the collection Ludwig. Aachen became a lively place full of contemporary art.

I have painted portraits if art collectors from Aachen. I organized many of my exhibitions here in Aachen . Here you can see pictures at my site: ."

Q. Is there anything else you would like to say about your art or the 'art world'?

A. "In my last artistic period I engaged myself with my roots. I am pleased that my pictures went around the world !

And yet, I am in search of sponsors for my new artistic activity and my dreams. Mr. Sherwin, I am glad to have had this conversation with you. It gives me great hope!

Life. Freedom. Art."

I hope that you have enjoyed my interview with Edith Suchodrew. Feel free to critique or discuss her art. You can see more of her art by doing a search for edithsuchodrew on the main site:

Take care, Stay true,

Brian Sherwin

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