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Suzanne E. Szucs

Rochester Community and Technical College

Sketch 4 I.D. #4

Sketch 4 I.D. #4 (2009), Digital Montage, 17" x 11"
pigment on archival photo rag

Artist Statement

I am interested in the residuals of everyday experiences, both the physical and emotional, and how they create the elusiveness of self. Throughout my career, I have consistently used the body and the landscape as points of reference to question assumptions related to what we find worth noticing and to challenge conventional notions of beauty. The places, myths and relationships that form identity are the motivation for my work.

The Sketch 4 I.D. series has been developed out of an interest in the marks and scars on trees. In the creation of montages from these shapes by combining them with human skin and text, I am investigating the physicality of surface and the process of aging. Ultimately, all my work is about marking, decay and the formation of identity. These images function like archeological remnants – a deconstruction of both text and image recombined to create a new context. They are fragments of the everyday: The trees are surrogates for the body while the text, derived from stories and letters, manifests as trace memory. As identifiers, they are unformed signifiers – sketches where words and image get lost within each other.

The Sketch 4 I.D. images are digital montages developed from original photographs. I photograph the segments of trees I am interested in, select the area that I want to combine with original photographs or scans of skin. I work the skin imagery into the tree image, often preserving texture or lines from the trees, while incorporating the texture and/or color of the skin. Each combination is treated individually. The text used in the images is scanned from personal handwritten sources. In combining the text with the image, I am less concerned with the legibility of the text than I am with using it as a textural mark upon the surface of the image.

Artist Biography

Sketch 4 I.D. #15

Sketch 4 I.D. #15 (2012), Digital Montage, 17" x 11"
pigment on archival photo rag

Suzanne Szucs is an artist, writer and educator living and working in Rochester, Minnesota. A recipient of numerous grants and awards, including an Illinois Arts Council Individual Fellowship and two Minnesota State Arts Board Individual Artist Grants (currently for Sketch 4 I.D.), Szucs has shown her work widely. Szucs has a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she studied Studio Photography and Performance. She writes critical articles for Afterimage and has recently lectured about her work at the Society for Photographic Education, College Art Association, Arizona State University and Hartwick College.

Recent exhibitions include the Rochester Art Center, SUNY Brockport and the RCTC Faculty Exhibition. She is currently a full-time Instructor of Art, Photography at Rochester Community & Technical College. Szucs teaches all levels of photography at RCTC, including Intro to Digital Photography, Photographic Lighting Techniques, Darkroom Fundamentals and the Art Portfolio course. Making work and exhibiting is a fundamental component of teaching studio art as it allows the instructor to demonstrate the motivation and skills necessary for becoming an artist. Personal experience with exhibiting, applying for exhibitions and writing grants and proposals is a cornerstone of the Art Portfolio course taught every Spring at RCTC and resulting in a student exhibition in the University Art Center Gallery.

Additional works on display:

Sketch 4 I.D. #10 (2012), Digital montage,
17" x 11" pigment on archival photo rag

Sketch 4 I.D. #16 (2012), Digital montage,
17" x 11" pigment on archival photo rag