Clare Britt interviews painter Susan Bee, whose work was recently on view in the exhibition The Sacred and Profane Love Machine at Ortega y Gasset Projects, Ridgewood, Queens.
Bee writes: "I am inspired by folk art and indeed the interactions between the individuals in the paintings are influenced by my love of color and expressive painting. Black and white film stills are the pictorial basis of the majority of these oil paintings. The keyed-up colors, energetic patterns and painterly abstractions that also populate these pieces make them psychologically complex. The solitary individuals, couples and familial groups depicted in these works are nearly overwhelmed by tumultuous passages of paint that threaten to separate and engulf the figures. I am interested in finding variety within a given painting format. By the use of various patterns, color palettes and techniques in the spaces surrounding the figures and often on the costumes on the figures, I am creating compositions appropriate for the content and mood of each work."