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Susan Weinthaler

I’ve always known I was an artist.  It was an obvious and intrinsic part of me from the beginning, like being a woman, that was somehow decided with the accident of birth.  My entire life I have fiercely embraced the responsibility that I believe an artist has to the rest of society, to recognize truths.  

One truth I have been exploring in my work for quite some time now is how complex structures are built by applying simple rules.  It all began around 2003 when I would wander the streets of New York pondering just how many bricks there were in the city, in all five boroughs, everything above and below ground, including all the buildings that have been demolished and rebuilt over time.  It’s staggering, isn’t it?  Bricks are just simple building blocks, but look at the complex urban organism that has evolved by placing one brick on top of another.  And the more I looked at the world around me with this in mind, the more I saw this theory happening in everything, everywhere.  Life is not rigid, so why should art be?

I began to make art one “BIT” at a time, curious to see what would happen if I applied these concepts to the artistic process, so I cut up all the scrap lumber I had accumulated in my studio into 2″ x 2″ squares.  It was an arbitrary choice of size at the time, but it is the standard working unit I still use today.  You see, when I initially conceived of making this body of work, I imagined it on an epic scale with interchangeable parts where anything is possible.  Ultimately I wanted to stay within these simple parameters and always have the option to integrate the BITS if desired.  Mounting the BITS on a steel canvas with magnets was the perfect solution for infinitely variable compositions that take on a life force of their own as they migrate around the steel canvas manipulated by the hands of others.  

Since then, I have worked with a wide range of materials and treatments, and as such my BITS occupy a space that involves sculpture, painting, and photography that is new is the art world.  I am completely taken with the idea of the potentially infinite and am attempting to create an art form that is truly capable of it.