Greed. Dominance. Aggression. The consequences of these eternal human traits periodically come to a boiling point in our history. Much of my recent work has become about the various resulting power imbalances that are currently becoming so visible in our country. The issues of life and death, predator and prey, victim and victor, which lie barely below the surface of “civilized” society, are raw and overt in the animal kingdom and so I often choose to use animals as symbols of human behaviors. They are both the perpetrators and the victims.
As a student of fiber art and the daughter-granddaughter of a family of artists and crafters, I have spent the first portion of my artistic career investigating a wide range of mediums. The return to drawing has reintroduced an immediacy and energy to my work which feels particularly suited to the subject at hand, while my experiences with fiber and mixed media continue to inform the process. In my work I deliberately omit any likenesses of specific or identifiable place or person. By stripping figures down to their most basic state and placing them in non specific locations, I hope to create a more universal image that conveys my statement yet remains relevant to other viewers.
I am currently working on two related bodies of work; Dog Eat Dog, and American Dream. Dog Eat Dog utilizes images of canine behavior as a symbol for the various power struggles that are taking place in our society. The expressions of dogs can range from fierce to meek, from playful to piteous. Man’s best friend serves as both an entry point and a mirror for examining our own behavior. The Torn Flag drawings are part the “American Dream” series. The flags represent the battered state of the American Dream as well as our state of being torn apart from one another by the current political climate. The accompanying time lapse videos are the outgrowth of a grant project documenting the drawing process and are set to music chosen to amplify the drawing’s theme.
Laura Sussman-Randall was raised in New Jersey where she enjoyed many artistic influences; the art history books and work of her mother, artist Mary Lou Sussman, access to a strong local center for the arts (The Visual Art Center of NJ, formerly the Summit Art Center), and close proximity to the museums, galleries and art scene of New York City. She graduated University of Michigan with a Bachelor’s of Fine Art and Bachelor’s of History of Art. She currently lives and works in North Carolina with husband Mike Randall, and their son, Sam. Ms. Sussman-Randall is an Arts & Science Council 2014 Regional Project Artist Grant recipient and Phoenix Gallery 2017-18 Fellowship recipient. Her work has become a part of private collections in Charlotte, New York, New Orleans, Los Angeles and Sydney, and can be seen at Guthrie Contemporary in New Orleans, LA and Met Contemporary in Rock Hill, SC.