There is a strong narrative running through Susan Washington's work that references her long involvement with collage, textiles, fashion and art. She comes from a family of artists and by age 5 Susan was tutored in the art of origami and sumi ink drawing by her Japanese godmother as well as watercolors from her father. She spent her teens deconstructing dressmaking as a punk fashionista. Washington then landed on 5thAvenue working at Dior and Nautica.
Gravitating to the oeuvres of Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly and Joan Mitchell, Washington has continued to push boundaries, re-inventing her work with each new piece while continuing to maintain the cohesive thread that creates her signature look.
“Washington’s pieces are the perfect balance of artistry and execution. Jean Paul Gaultier, Yohji Yamamoto, Valentino and Vivienne Westwood may inspire the narrative but it is Washington’s deft palette of textiles, paper and oil that tells the story.”
“My work is inherently autobiographical. I make marks on the canvas that are a part of myself. It is important for me to be authentic, in the process of painting, to rediscover events that I have been a part of and to use them to inform my actions on canvas. I resonate with the adrenaline that I can generate and use this as the energy and emotion to fuel my work. Paintings in my most recent collection are all triggered by my reaction to the couture runway shows. Music is also an important part of the creation process for me and is always loudly playing in my studio and folds into my work. I enjoy living dangerously within the process of painting, toying with disaster and celebrating unexpected results from spontaneous action and sometimes, unpredictable techniques. Then it’s a matter of editing and pursuing fruitful paths. My current collection has been created in the last year and represents my love of the fusion of painting, collage and fashion. I appropriate images from art and fashion magazines, transferring the ink to the canvas, using them very loosely as compositional elements. The ever-changing results are eventually marked over with thick oil sticks and texture and movement starts to build and expand through the canvas.”