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Suzanne Sbarge: New Work
November 4, 2022 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
“Through my art process, I connect with the reality that humans are not just interconnected with animals—we are animals.”
Suzanne Sbarge’s work is a place of dreams, and, like dreams, offers a mirror of ourselves. Her playful, surreal mixed media paintings and collages explore an imaginary realm where animal-human hybrids dwell in abstract spaces. Sbarge’s work offers open-ended narratives, posing questions rather than imposing answers.
“That’s the sweet spot for me—I put my trust in the imagination to lead the way and open up new ways of seeing,” Sbarge says. “It’s an ambiguous space that feels like an antidote to the confines of the rational mind.”
Depicting existing, extinct and even imagined fauna, Sbarge’s work delves into the role of animals in human imagination during a time of rapid environmental change. Her paintings and collages suspend that change in an imaginary sphere, allowing the viewer space to find their own relationship with it.
She’s particularly drawn to avian forms:
“Birds in particular appeal to me because of their ability to fly,” Sbarge says. “That freedom is something I think our souls seek and we only experience in our dreams, or perhaps eventually when we die.”
Much of the work in Sparge’s upcoming show emerged from an art residency she held in Oaxaca, where she was inspired by the vibrant architecture, folk art and fine crafts, especially the alebrije—mythical hybrid animals carved from wood.
“Bright colors, lush plants, and animal imagery were everywhere and it felt like the world of my paintings,” Sbarge says. “The work grew from this fertile environment that felt ancient and grounded in the imagination.”