Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The Fanciful Artist: Susan Shulman

Fishy, Fabulous, Fantastic!

© Benoit Desjardins
 by Nancy Snipper

 Susan Shulman’s art is outrageous, wonderfully whimsical and theatrical. Her paintings put you into a delightful state of mind or a trance created by a swirl of colours full of energy and dream-like images. There is also an unmistakable feeling of peace because Susan Shulman lets us in on a world that’s far more fun than the one we are stuck in. Is this mind-blowing artist blurring the lines between sanity and its far more interesting opposite?

She’s a modern-day sphinx.
Contrast, the incongruous and a world with no rules define her spectacular canvases that collectively are fishtopeias.

 Her women don’t sport fancy ‘Vogue’ hairdos.  Au contraire!   Fishnet hair adorns the females she paints.

 Fixated on fish, she creates larger-than-life ladies that are beautifully decked out in all kinds of them: fish – from head to toe. This motif means fish for everyone and everywhere, in the skies and floating with her family. It is literally a fish feast for the eye.

Shulman has also created a video of a fish swimming in an endless body of water. It represents her father swimming eternally in time. Another narrated video called Scales of Love features the artist at work. She is drawing fish and talking about her fascination with fish scales that she likens to iridescent gems of changing colours: (http//
In her art book, titled In our Memories Forever, Shulman has created a history about her family and their immigration from Russia to Montreal. Grandparents are pictured in nine large paintings. An art treasure, this lovely handmade book offered a limited edition of 15. Only 5 remain, but it can be purchased on line; it’s published by Blurb.

Not surprisingly, this many faceted has an alter ego: the goddess Kali. An astounding gold leaf lettered hand-made linen case contains six stunning art pieces of her in various reincarnations as Kali. Shulman’s Kalis, include such names as: Sara Gypsy Goddess, Schekinah Goddess, Kali Goddess.  This remarkable work along with many Shulman creations are permanently housed in the State Library of Victoria, Australia and collections around the world.

Indeed, her artistic vision knows no boundaries. She has created billboards, spoken art works, videos, comics, mail art, poetry and books (ex Miniscapes). Her repertoire also includes male figures. Painted in her unique style, each piece reveals something new each time you look at on it.

                 Her daughter is her inspiration for so many of her female figures.

Billy Ray, a character she has developed, plays the blues. In fact, she always paints while playing music.

No doubt about it, Susan Shulman’s path has no ending. Like the six-armed Kali Goddess, Shulman has multiple projects that are being implemented all over the world.
“My art is a kaleidoscope of my soul exploding with passion and creativity.”

Eccentric and exhilarating, she inspires us all to let go and have fun.

You can view all her art work and the links to other significant projects she has created on her website: