Susan Brenner
charlotte, north carolina

Instagram: @Susan_brenner








The State of Things 1819
2018, Mixed media on paper in 2 panels
Courtesy of the artist and Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art

The State of Things is an ongoing series of mixed media works on paper that represent my uneasiness in response to the rapid change, constantly unfolding tragedies, and seeming chaos of the world. In The State of Things I endeavor to find a delicate balance between chaos and order, between anxiety and optimism, between beauty and turmoil. I depict situations that are in flux yet held in tension.

I begin by photographing heaps of scrap metal reflective of our consumerist excesses, of our constant tearing down to rebuild our surroundings. I reorient the images to change their center of gravity, then digitally turn them into line drawings, which I print and then paint over. My intent is to create images that appear unstable, where there is a sense of excess, of tangled objects and forms in flux. Something might topple over or collapse; there is potential danger. Yet, I cannot help but inject optimism into the work. For me, the very act of making art is an act of optimism. In a way, my inclination to create order and beauty constitutes an attempt to heal the problems I observe.