I’m often inspired by poetry. “Lost Doll” was made in response to a poem by Rachel Levitsky that she wrote about my drawing, “The Island.” It will be shown with her poems in June at Heliopolis Gallery in Greenpoint. I have always used dream imagery and unconscious sources in my paintings, drawings, and artists’ books. I have incorporated images of angels, saints, demons, and fairies. I used imagery drawn from both religion and fantasy as a way to reflect motifs in the poems. My work has been deeply inspired by the freedom and fluidity with which the poets that I know and love use the symbolic and the imaginary in their work. In addition, I appear as a character in disguise in a lot of my works, so do my husband, son, and daughter. Some of my recent works refer to the loss of my daughter Emma Bee Bernstein or are based on images that she loved. “Lost Doll” is one of those works.
Susan Bee is an artist, who lives in Brooklyn. She won a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2014. Her current solo show, The Challenge of Painting, is up at the Mid-Manhattan Library through August 20, 2015.