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Interview with artist, Sue Coe

New School student, Tracy Fernandez, interviews artist Sue Coe in anticipation of her lecture on Tuesday Oct. 3rd, part of the NY Comic and Picture Story Symposium , and in anticipation of her exhibition, “All Good Art is Political” with Käthe Kollwitz at the Galerie St. Etienne, part of New York Print Week (October 23rd – October 29th).

Sue Coe’s NYCPSS lecture will be for her new, all-picture book, “The Animals’ Vegan Manifesto.” 

FERNANDEZ: What medium do you prefer to work in? Why?

COE: I prefer pencil then woodcut then litho.  I prefer to draw as if it were painting and cut wood like a drawing. It’s elegant and simple.

The Veal Skinner, 1991. Stone lithograph.

FERNANDEZ: What do animals mean to you? How did your experience living near a slaughterhouse shape that meaning?

COE: The injustice of the way animals are bred to be slaughtered is intolerable. The pain animals feel is more than they can bear. The meat industry has exponentially become increasingly psychotic, murdering trillions of animals every year and devastating wildlife, human health, and the planet. Animal liberation is a social justice movement, like any other, it demands an end of all animal use. Slaughterhouses are concealed from most people, but in my childhood, the slaughterhouse was my house.

FERNANDEZ: In order to create graphic, violent imagery of animal cruelty, did you rely on visiting slaughterhouses or mostly work from memory?

COE: The imagery is the reflection of reality drawn to create change. Many of the scenes I have witnessed directly. Some I have not drawn at all, yet. As Beckmann said about being in the trenches of WW1 – my art eats here.

FERNANDEZ: As an illustrator who works in multiple mediums, what techniques do you use specifically to communicate these graphic scenes to an audience?

COE: When I started out as an illustrator there was little color in mass media publications, so I was trained to stay within black and white, and used tone to suggest color. I rarely work for commercial publications any more, as create my own words and images.  I lean toward sequential reportage work. I invented my own art world, within the art world, but stay within the concept  that technique is the test of sincerity. My gallery and my frequent book publisher are extremely supportive.

Sue Coe, Red Slaughterhouse, 1988. Excerpted from Cruel, page 71.

Butcher to the World, 1986. Excerpted from Cruel, page 20.

FERNANDEZ: Would you consider your artworks to be a form of activism? If so, what does it mean to you to be an activist/protester?

COE: I do consider art and activism to be one and the same.   If people are not protesting by now, they are not paying attention.  The crime is indifference.  I can raise money for different non profits selling cheap prints, people get ‘art’ and the pleasure of knowing they are helping. Anyone can do this.

FERNANDEZ: With your artwork regarding animal cruelty and human injustice, what impact do you intend to have on an audience?

COE: I believe in truth based activism. Deteriorating social conditions create the resistance, as well as embolden the extreme right. We are the audience (now defined as product) witnessing the crime of corporate greed and destruction of life. How that impacts me personally, is making the art which slows time down long enough to resist.

FERNANDEZ: In the height of political chaos, what role do you feel that art and design hold in relation to politics?

COE: Art and design, if it is linked to mass struggle can be highly effective. You can’t have a political art uncoupled from political struggle. The ruling class are attempting to silence dissent, by blaming the victims. It’s the oldest trick in the book, along with divide and conquer. Art is a positive non-violent way people can speak to each other across walls and borders.

 

Wall Street Walk by Sue Coe, 2012.
2 Color Lithograph
36”x26”

Sue Coe’s work, Wall Street Walk, which she made in the Print Shop at Parsons and is now part of The New School Art Collection, details in the video below where the terms “wall street” and “stock market” originate from.

Fall 2017 NY Comics & Picture Story Symposium

The NY Comics & Picture Story Symposium is a weekly symposium for artist/writers working in various text-image forms: comics, picture-stories, animation, etc. at which to present and critique current work.  The symposium will examine new ideas for the distribution of print and electronic work that move beyond the existing models of  publishing and advertising. We will re-examine the relationship between readers and autographic writers. Emphasis will be placed on self-initiated work and the development of a self-sustaining economic model for such work.  Meetings will be facilitated by a rotating group of practitioners and guest speakers.  The symposium will offer an ongoing place to learn and think about the traditions and future of text-image work.

We meet at Parsons The New School in New York City, 2 West 13th St., lobby level, Orientation Room. Hosted by the Parsons BFA Illustration program and the Parsons School of Art Media and Technology. All events are free and open to the public.

Aug. 29 – Andre and Ed Krayewski on FKT Comics
Sept. 5 – Josh Bayer, Adam McGovern and guests on All Time Comics
Sept. 12 – David Leopold on Al Hirschfeld’s book illustration
Sept. 19 – Martin Wilner on his work
Sept. 26 – Katie Fricas, cartoonist
Oct. 3 -Sue Coe on her recent work.
Oct. 10 – Kurt Ankeny, cartoonist
Oct. 17 – Craig Gropper on William Gropper.
Oct. 24 – Michael Hearn on Russian Constructivist Children’s Books.
Oct. 31 – Maya Edelman – animator
Nov. 7 – Ethan Persoff – cartoonist, archivist, and sound artist
Nov. 14 – Mark Newgarden and Paul Karisik on How to Read Nancy.
Nov. 28 – Bob Grossman – illustrator and cartoonist
Dec. 5 – Elizabeth C. Denlinger on Frankenstein
Dec. 12 – Stephen Norris on Borris Efimov, russian cartoonist

 

If you’d like to make a presentation, please send an email with your ideas: symposium(at)katchor.com

Illustration Alumni Feature: “Hyperakt” on Mashable

Read this great Mashable article on 2000/01 Parsons BFA illustration grads!

Peraza was an asylum seeker from Cuba, arriving in Miami as a child in 1984. Zeltser was a religious refugee from Ukraine who landed in New York as a teenager in 1993. The two met on the first day of classes at the New School’s Parsons School of Design in New York City in 1996.

“I was an annoying, arrogant loudmouth,” says Peraza, who has a healthy swath of hair on top of his otherwise closely shaved head. “Julia’s more studious, the good kid.”

While at Parsons, they discovered a healthy competitiveness and a shared drive to succeed, which they attribute to being immigrants.

“You just don’t take shit for granted,” Peraza says, noting the many “rich kids” who simply cruised by. “Every opportunity we got, we busted our butt to do it.”

 

 

Situated in Brooklyn’s Gowanus neighborhood, blocks away from a Whole Foods and the Morbid Anatomy Museum of death-obsessed hipsterdom, the cavernous storefront of social impact design studio Hyperakt stands out.

The open studio is quiet — the only sound comes from the humming tubular vents overhead and a handful of staff who confer in whispers. Most of the others focus quietly on their iMac screens.

Unlike stereotypically pristine, carefully curated design studios, Hyperakt’s space is a little more freewheeling. Utilitarian shelving units are haphazardly packed with supplies; dark, reclaimed wood desks with metal legs are pushed together to form long working spaces, flanked by contemporary office chairs on wheels.

Founded in 2001, Hyperakt’s 15-person team has focused on social impact design since 2009, when its cofounders, designers Deroy Peraza and Julia Zeltser, phased out the types of clients who needed things like dog leash branding or Camel cigarette ads in Spanish.

For the past seven years they have worked exclusively for NGOs, nonprofits and other social good organizations.

“It’s really satisfying to see memberships increase, donations increase and the caliber of volunteers rise,” Zeltser tells Mashable, decked out in a colorful woolly sweater and scarf of magentas and reds.

Hyperakt leapt into the social good sector full-force because it’s where the team created its best work.

Zeltser cites one client as a good example: educational nonprofit iMentor, which they’re currently helping to rebrand their mentorship program. Other clients include big names like the Ford Foundation, United Nations, NAACP, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Sitting in Hyperakt’s conference room, moments after Zeltser shrieked with laughter when Peraza rustled up an old Camel ad they made, they reveal their two essential and successful marketing tools.

First is the active creation of community, both virtually and physically; for example, their once-a-month Lunch Talk series holds free and public forums among creative people, “designed to foster knowledge, sharing and casual conversation” over food and beer.

Second is spending time and resources on experimental, self-generated projects, which often go viral or land on design blogs and magazine pages. In 2008 they created posters in support of then-Senator Barack Obama that led to an exhibit at Flux Laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland. Hyperakt also took a challenge in 2013 to rebrand the teaching profession, an assignment from Kurt Anderson, the host of radio show Studio 360. And a noteworthy work in progress is On the Grid, a neighborhood guide for cities around the globe created in collaboration with local design studios.

Clearing her throat, Zeltser teases Peraza that she usually works on the jobs that bring in income, while he gets to experiment with viral hits like these.

“It’s the self-generated stuff that gets all the attention,” he counters, sounding slightly defensive.

The Refugee Project is one of these self-generated assignments. The team initially saw the U.N.’s refugee data in 2012, and while it was compelling, it was presented in such a dull manner that it might speak to academics but no one else.

So they collaborated with information designer and artist Ekene Ijeoma on The Refugee Project to allow users to easily see the exact number of refugees to and from countries by year. Ijeoma notes that in the past, photographs, rather than visualized data, have been used to communicate such social issues.

“But you can only see what’s in the frame,” he says. Data, he adds, provides a more expansive story.

The Refugee Project caught the eye of the Annenberg Space for Photography’s curators, and will be part of the upcoming show in Los Angeles called New Americans, in conjunction with an exhibit called “Refugee,” which opens on April 23. The Refugee Project will be projected on huge screens and remain interactive, providing historical context to the exhibit.

 

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View Their Work by Clicking Here

BFACD Faculty Highlight: Tamara Maletic

Tamara Maletic began graphic design studio Linked by Air with partner Dan Michaelson in 2005. Linked by Air specializes in the creation of design systems and technological platforms that grow with institutions. Since 2005, they’ve worked with major cultural and educational organizations, charities, artists, architects, and corporations. The studio sometimes describes its expertise as the “production of public space,” whether in the world or online. Its interest is in creating systems that work for all their constituents, and that show their health by evolving successfully over time. Along with co-creating Linked by Air, Tamara teaches Core Typography in the Communication Design department. You can learn more about Linked by Air’s work on their website, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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Eleven different computer programs in Prada’s New York store transformed and twisted customers’ images in beautiful and fun ways as they moved past. As a vendor to 2×4.

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The new identity for Columbia Books on Architecture and the City is a permanent placeholder whose aspect ratio always shifts to match the aspect ratio of the object it’s imprinted upon. The cover of the catalog displays many versions of the mark, corresponding to the different sizes of the books in the catalog.

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The Away With Words app is award-winning cinematographer Christopher Doyle’s celebration of how words and images collide to form new, often ironic associations. Users are encouraged to make their own associations with Chris’s street photographs, by attaching new words and images to existing ones.