Saturday, August 11, 2018

Good Meals and How to Prepare Them: A Witch's Guide

(Above:  Three different views of altered cookbook Good Meals and How to Prepare Them: A Witch's Guide.  Shut:  7 1/2" x 5" x 1 1/2".  Click on image to enlarge.)

Susan Lenz returned to her earlier theme involving Hansel & Gretel's witch.  This vintage cookbook was altered to include recipes on thirty-nine index cards.  The front of each index card has notations made by the imaginary witch.  The reverse includes a spell, curse, hex, incantation, or detailed explanation for a magickal use of an ordinary herb.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Hansel & Gretel's Witch: Hoping for a Michelin Star

(Above:  Hansel & Gretel's Witch: Hoping for a Michelin Star.  Framed:  15 1/2" x 37 1/2".)

This is the first of three pieces that Susan Lenz is creating based on an alternative story about the witch in the Grimm brother's fairytale of Hansel and Gretel. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Pandora's Box

 (Above:  Pandora's Box. Framed alternative story and altered antique chest.  Framed work: 28" x 19 1/2". Chest (closed): 10 1/2" H x 24" W x 11" D.)

Pandora's Box is a two-part work consisting of a framed story made from letters clipped from vintage ephemera on faux-finished watercolor paper and an antique chest collaged with the artist's childhood stamp collection.

The work is a flash fiction alternative story about mythical Pandora unleashing evils.  In this telling, Pandora has unleashed the oppression of a patriarchal society.  The heroine then uses her box to travel the world, collecting canceled souvenir stamps along the way.

The framed work is the narrative and reads:

Pandora's Box

Dear John aka Epimetheus: Foolish Titan of Greek Myth

I know you told me not to open the special box because it would unleash all sorts of evils, but I did! There are now dirty dished in the sink, dust bunnies under the bed, mildew in the shower, and every stitch of clothing needs washed. The evils of a patriarchal society have escaped.  I have taken the box with me and will travel the world spreading awareness of equality. I leave only HOPE behind. Treat her well and she might stay. Since I'm gone, you will tell a different sotry, but this is the TRUTH about my box.


Friday, May 18, 2018

Alternative Valentines

 (Above and below:  Alternative Valentines by Susan Lenz.)

For the upcoming spring exhibition Alternative Storytellers, Susan Lenz is looking mostly at feminist twists to familiar fairy tales.  Valentine's Day isn't exactly a "fairy tale" except that the expectation is generally the same, silly "happily ever after" ending that assumes a woman's ultimate role is on the arms of a man.  At least that's the way Susan always thought of it.   These small pieces are meant as a feminist twist to the traditional, sexist "Be Mine" sort of message fixated on a "happily ever after" ending in which girls play a passive role in a relationship.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Cinderella Was a Feminist

(Above:  Cinderella Was a Feminist. Framed: 39" x 13".  Found hearth broom and words collaged from letters clipped from vintage and antique magazines and print material. Click on the image to enlarge.)

This Susan's first piece for the upcoming Alternative Storytellers exhibition. The collaged words to the left of the broom read:  Cinderella became a billionaire. The collaged words to the right of the broom read:  Sure! I could have married the Prince but I didn't need the hassle of royal domesticity. Instead, I invested in solid waste, hazardous and medical waste management, and environmental consulting, pollution control, and other disposal services.  I cleaned up! Cinderella. The collage words running around on the inside lip of the frame read:  Cinderella was a feminist.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Once Upon a Time

Many a good story starts with the familiar few words: Once Upon a Time.

Today is that time! A wonderful meeting took place! Olga Yukhno, Flavia Lovatelli, and Susan Lenz embarked on an amazing journey into art-making.  Each artist agreed to create individual works in their own media based on the concepts of alternative endings to familiar and not-so-familiar stories.  Unexpected twists, newly empowered female characters, and novel outcomes will result in the year-long process.  The three artists agreed to share openly in a collaborative sculpture to be called The Storyteller.  This blog will act as a documentation of this cooperative engagement.  As work is in progress and/or completed, blog posts will be written.  Check back here for periodic updates!