Interview with Girls & Corpses Magazine

G&C: Suzzan, there is obviously a great deal of pain and torture in your paintings. Would you describe yourself as a person suffering from inner demons and haunted by ghastly dreams and visions? In other words, could anyone tell by just looking at you that you paint such madness?

SB: Pain is my "forte" and if I couldn't express it in the way that I do, I really don't know how I would deal with it. On the outside, I am always smiling, always joking. But on the inside, I scream with a twisting, gripping pain and vehement anger that would definitely tear me apart if I didn't purge myself on canvas or write poetry. So, I do feel so very lucky to be able to do that, because many people can't.

G&C: What I love most about your artwork is that you don't hold back or censor yourself. But have you ever felt that something you painted crossed that line?

SB: Hell yeah! I have a huge collection of "private paintings" that I do not show. They are far too personal and violent—delving into the very depths of pain and suffering. The few people that I did show these paintings to reacted in such a distressing way that it shocked me! And I vowed never to expose them to anyone again.

G&C: Do you find beauty in pain and blood?

SB: All I can say is that I have learned to embrace and even relish my pain. I mean, if you suppress or ignore pain, it will cut you up inside, it will never go away, and no amount of alcohol, drugs, or rage will stop it! In fact, these only serve to exacerbate suffering. And yes, I metaphorically bleed on my canvases. It is the ultimate catharsis!

G&C: Have you ever spent time in a hospital ... mental?

SB: Hahaha! I wish! That would be like a dream come true! Solitary confinement really appeals to me as long as I had paints, music, a computer, and meals shoved through a hatch. I would be in "artists heaven!"

G&C: What caused such terrible pain in your life?

SB: I really can't tell you that, there have been so many incidents, and it would be both inappropriate and too disturbing for most people to read.

G&C: What makes you angry?

SB: Most of the people I have ever known! Most were evil fuckers that hurt me so terribly in ways that normal people could never ... or want to comprehend. And although I am incredibly angry, I don't actually "hate," I would never want to feel that.

G&C: Why do you think you started painting so late in life?

SB: Hmmm, I used to draw an awful lot, mainly gruesome, horrific pictures, but because I was labeled sick, evil, freaky, and disturbed ... So, I stopped doing those and produced nice pictures of animals, portraits, etc., to which people warmed to and appreciated. I carried on doing those, until one day I just decided NEVER to paint another fucking dog or flower ever again! I was not going to please anyone anymore; I was only going to paint what I wanted to paint. This is my truth, my life, my emotions ... this is who I am.

G&C: Rot on, sister! Hallelujah! Tell us about your work schedule. When do you paint? How often, at what time, and what is your frame of mind?

SB: I paint as much as I can—it is my life—my everything! Sometimes, I will paint for two hours, sometimes thirteen! My mind is usually intensely focused, for I do not use reference, and everything that I do is imagined—which is difficult—but I enjoy the challenge. I am also very stoical when I paint and very emotionally detached—contract to what people usually think.

G&C: What techniques do you use when you paint (brushes, canvas, paint, oils, blood, etc.)?

SB: I only use oils. I can only achieve the realism that I desire with these. They give me the mobility and softness to gradiate and blend to build up the solidity within my work.

G&C: Does road kill excite you?

SB: Hahaha! Only if it is human! But I do occasionally pick up small animals to collect the skulls! And little paws and tails!

G&C: Do you pull over at accidents?

SB: Hell yeah! There is nothing more compelling and enthralling than crimson bloodied viscera and squished brains strewn all over the place! It makes a good mental reference, 'tis a feast for the eyes! And I'm a big fan of accident emergency rooms! Eeuw!

G&C: When you see Jesus on the cross throughout the centuries in art—what goes through your head? I mean, isn't that imagery just about as violent and bloody as yours? And why do you think religion is so damn gory?

SB: Yes, he suffered, but only once! My art depicts years of incessant, unrelenting pain and suffering. I think religion is gory, because it is just another facet to manipulate and control the venerable and yielding minds of people who have pain in their lives and don't know where else to turn. They can "bleed" alongside Jesus, but they have to pay cash for that privilege.

G&C: What gives you nightmares?

SB: Hahaha! Absolutely nothing! I just want to "give" everybody nightmares! Mwa-ha-ha!

G&C: I'm sure you get some pretty extreme reactions to your work, as we do at Girls and Corpses Magazine. What letters and email can you share with us of opposition to your work?

SB: Well, on the whole, I only get amazing, inspiring comments, in fact the "gorier" I become, the more I get! I still get the odd, ignorant, moronic comment like, "Dude, are you some kind of Satanist?" or, "You must be evil to be able to think up such imagery." It was mainly back when I was a teenager that I received a lot of shit.

G&C: Would you ever illustrate a children's book?

SB: Oooh, yes please! I would love to illustrate a children's cookbook! You can imagine, 150 Ways to kill, slice, gut, decapitate, stuff, cook, and Serving Children. And I would call it, "The Wishful Thinker's Guide to Cooking Sprogs." And a follow up book for single people, "Microwaving Sprogs."

G&C: Reminds me of a book I wrote titled, "The Cannibal Cookbook." Moving on, past the Tater-Tots ... which other artists move you?

SB: The name a few, Francis Bacon, Caravaggio, Holbein and Van Eyke, Oh, and Tracy Emin. She rocks!!!

G&C: Do you have any wicked shows coming up?

SB: No, I don't, I'm afraid that my art does not sit amongst mainstream art! And I really don't think there are any galleries that would risk showing it!

G&C: Well, at least our disturbed readers can see your amazing artwork in our hallowed pages. Speaking of which, where can our readers buy your paintings and illustrations?

SB: Well, they can purchase an original through my agent. I am hoping to set up prints next year, as I have so many people asking for them. And that would be via:

G&C: What do you think happens when you die?

SB: Your bodify fluids pool inside your arse, your gasses seep out of every orifice and your eyeballs turn into black prunes. You can't talk much, maybe a barely audible whisper, and you imagine all kinds of shit—like aliens, white lights and Elvis, then you slowly decompose with help from your insect friends (yeah, try swatting me now, pal!) And, if you're very lucky, you will be asked to appear in Girls and Corpses Magazine!

G&C: In your dreams. Thanks Suzzan for letting us rummage through your closet of Pain. OUCH!!


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