Susan Lizotte’s paintings combine an eccentric take on art history with a rich expressionism and a love for hot color. Equally intrigued by quirks of medievalist folklore as by the modern Los Angeles landscape, Lizotte presents moments and stories that are rife with both beauty and danger, adventure and strife, character and abstraction. A favorite motif engages with the region’s precarious relationship to wild nature, often depicting its iconic architecture threatened by fire along with almost fauvist evocations of its famous sunsets and qualities of light. Her work is currently on view at Los Angeles Art Association’s annual Open Show.
L.A. WEEKLY: When did you first know you were an artist?
SUSAN LIZOTTE: I’ve always loved art and was always drawing or making something from as far back as I can remember. But the definitive light bulb going off was during my undergrad senior year during my final quarter of study at UCLA when I took an art history class and it completely made me fall in love with art, and what I already considered a magical thing. I actually considered changing my major to art history (from Theater Arts). Since I have never had any formal training, I consider myself a self-taught artist.
What is your short answer to people who ask what your work is about?
I paint primarily and the paintings are a mix of figurative and abstract elements that play with art history, real events/places and a lot of imagination.
What would you be doing if you weren’t an artist?
I need to create and think my soul would be crushed if I couldn’t. But I guess if being an artist was out of the picture (so to speak) I would want to move to Corsica and live in an ancient stone villa and grow grapes for wine.
Why do you live and work in L.A., and not elsewhere?
I love the golden light in Los Angeles and I love the constant creativity going on here. I’ve always found way more interesting things percolating here than in New York for example. The physical space of L.A. has allowed people to create art, new restaurants/chefs, jewelry, just about anything becomes possible in L.A. I love being in the middle of all the experimentation going on here!
When was your first show?
My first show was Test Pilots II at BG Gallery in 2012.
When is/was your current/most recent/next show?
Most recently I had my first Solo show in NYC at Dacia Gallery in October. Currently I’ve got work in three shows this month.
Right now I have a painting in the Open Show at Los Angeles Art Association opening December 14th, as well as a painting in a Holiday Group Show at Dacia Gallery opening December 19th, and another painting at New York Art that runs through the end of December.
And I’ve got work in two art fairs coming up in 2020, the L.A. Art Show and stARTup Art Fair (both in February). Whew!
What artist living or dead would you most like to show with?
I’d love to show with Jasper Johns. No regrets!
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