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Subway Sonnet #138


Mixed Media on Canvas


30 x 40 in
76 x 102 cm


Artspace Warehouse (Los Angeles)


The surfaces Susan Washington works with are derived from her memories of the graffitied subway car, public telephone booths, and rolling steel cages that secure neighborhood stores after closing. In her paintings, she strives to emulate the process by which these metallic surfaces have become the backdrop for the graphic history of the neighborhoods and the people who lived there. Washington's paintings are visual narratives of my experiences, of love, of places, of emotions, and of memories, she recalls from growing up in New York in the 1980s.

This 30-inch tall by 40-inch wide original oil, spray paint, and collage artwork is on canvas. Icons from the world’s religions and philosophies, pictures torn from art and fashion magazines, and references to lyrics from the artist's favorite bands find their way onto the canvas. It is signed by the artist on the back of the artwork. Free delivery is available for those in the local Los Angeles area, and affordable worldwide shipping is available for US and international art collectors. A certificate of authenticity issued by the art gallery is included.

Susan Washington grew up in Brooklyn in a creative family. Her Japanese godmother taught her sumi ink painting when she was seven. This was the beginning of a life involved in art and fashion. Susan worked in the fashion industry in New York for 15 years before relocating to the Pocono Mountains. Washington relocated to Baltimore in April of 2021 where she has a large studio on W. Pratt Street. Along with continuing to explore her Subway Sonnet’s body of work, Susan is commissioned for large-scale paintings and works closely with designers on residential and hospitality design projects.

“My paintings feel as if they have been created by random collaboration in the same way public telephone booths and trains quickly filled up with stickers and graffiti. The surface is archaeological, stratified with graphic artifacts as some, previously placed, are torn away and others overlaid upon existing iconography. The picture plane is scratched and eroded and scrawled upon. Song lyrics and Shakespearean quotes share the same space with philosophy and street slang. There is rough poetry in the un-painterly rhythm and coarseness of this approach..”

Washington has tied together all the imagery and text to imbue each painting with a particular and specific mantra that ranges from “fame” and “success” to “love” and “prosperity”. She pays homage to post-war American art and the neo-expressionists. Her artworks have been exhibited and collected internationally, including in New York, Los Angeles, and Shanghai. Washington's paintings have also been included in film and motion pictures including The Book Club with Diane Keaton, LA’s Finest, The Morning Show, and The Laundromat.


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Susan Washington

Susan Washington

A strong narrative runs through Susan Washington's work with references to her long involvement with collage, textiles, fashion, and art. She comes from a family of artists and by age 5 Susan was tutored in the art of origami and Sumi ink drawing by her Japanese godmother as well as watercolors from her father. She spent her teens deconstructing dressmaking as a punk fashionista. Washington then landed on 5th Avenue working at Dior and Nautica.

Gravitating to the oeuvres of Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, and Joan Mitchell, Washington has continued to push boundaries, re-inventing her work with each new piece while continuing to maintain the cohesive thread that creates her signature look.

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