Before the release of issue 03, Old Tat decided to catch up with our very first cover girl, Sue Kreitzman!
How would you explain your style?
Childish, colourful, shamanistic, wild and anarchic. Completely outside the margins of the art world. Raw and untutored.
How would you describe your art and what you do?
I deal with the female landscape. I paint, I make art necklaces (it takes a brave individual to wear them!) and I make assemblages. I am basically an assemblage artist. Even my paintings are embellished with stuff. I spend half of my time looking for sublime crap and profound junk, and the other half, putting it all together.
Who do you create work for? Who is your audience?
I am my own audience. My art erupts out of my subconscious – aka my guts – and that’s it. When other people look at it, ‘get’ it, like it, I am happy. But I do not do it for others and I do not do it for commerce.
What does art mean to you personally?
It is my therapy, my medicine, my obsession, my joy, and my purpose in life. It keeps me young, it keeps me functional and happy.
What inspires you?
I am in a constant state of art arousal. I don’t really know how to get uninspired. The world around me inspires me, as do my materials, colour, religious icons, tribal and folk art of all kinds, mythology, and my own very overactive imagination!
What is your best work and why?
Whatever has just been finished. Whatever it is, I love it deeply.
How did you get into art and what you do?
I started drawing one day without even realising it. Prior to that mysterious moment, I couldn’t draw, couldn’t paint, couldn’t even doodle worth a damn. I was famously bad at art. But one day, when I was doing something else entirely (proofreading the manuscript of my 27th cookbook), my hand drew a mermaid on a piece of scrap paper. I looked at the mermaid, and the mermaid looked at me, and we fell in love. I immediately stopped cooking and writing about it and began a new life as….an artiste!! A very obsessive one.
How important is nostalgia in your work?
What are some of the important themes behind your work and where do they stem from?
As I mentioned, I am fascinated with the female landscape, both the joy and the darkness. My work is about life, love, death, hormones and the afterlife. I am obsessed with rebirth, regeneration, reincarnation; as metaphor and as reality. Reality as in ‘What the hell happens when the lights go out (ie, death)?’
What kind of skills have you developed by doing your art?
I am a glue expert. I am the queen of flea markets. I am now pretty good at social media. I have a tribe of fellow artists who share a similar vision to mine. I curate exhibitions now, so I am pretty good at putting together iconoclastic art happenings and publicising the hell out of them.
What materials do you work with and how do you source them?
I paint on found wood, and I use all manner of found objects in my work. Plenty of broken jewelry too. I paint with acrylics overlaid with nail varnish. For my assemblages, I use, among many other things, old dolls, old and dilapidated toys, mannequins and mannequin parts, and all sorts of delightful detritus. I search flea markets, charity shops, pound stores and the street, and people give me all sorts of fabulous junk they no longer want.
How important is scale and size in your work?
It always depends on how much space I have. Will it fit in my shed/studio? Is it a nice day so I can work in my backyard? Where will I store it? I have worked quite small, and rather large and everything in between.
How do you explore colour within your work?
I don’t ‘explore’ colour; I revel in it, I roll around in it, I splash it everywhere, I gulp it with a spoon. Colour informs my life; without it, I would be someone else entirely. And by colour, I mean bright, vulgar, saturated, primary, and in your face. In my face too.
How do you express emotion through your work?
My work is an explosion of colour and emotion. It comes out of a very emotional and sparkly place. I have very little control over it.
How do you go from an idea to a finished piece- what is your artistic process?
It is a very organic and instinctual process – very hard to explain.
How long does a piece take?
Anything from a few hours to a few months – it depends on the piece.
What is the dream for you?
To keep on going as I am now, as long as I can. To gather together other wild and weird artists and put together as many exhibitions as I can manage. To educate people about the joys of untutored, instinctual, ‘outsider’ art. To take care of my ‘tribe’ as best as I can. I am also currently writing a book, which is not a cook book. And to keep making ART!
Words by Loo Loo Rose