While physically aware of my visible stature at six feet and two inches tall, I often feel invisible and outside of social proceedings. This perception of invisibility has led to an overpowering need to demarcate my actual presence in the world.
The use of readily identifiable materials allows the viewer quick entrée into the work. Recontextualizations of these materials reflects the way those committing clandestine activities do so by attaching intervening meanings to an existing language, i.e. 5-0/huda/one time/the man = police. A message meant for specific ears can be spoken in public without revealing the secret intent of those words. It is important these works are accessible to as many people as possible aesthetically while still being able to communicate a specific underlying message to the person(s) who can identify with the underlying connotations.
These frequently self-referential contexts reflect emotional damages, insecurities and sometimes backfiring self-preservation of an outsider…the tall girl, the black sheep, the bon vivant, and the retired felon…all packaged in glimmering Southern California gestalt.
Susanne Melanie Berry was conceived in Bell, born in Lynwood, and raised in Southern California’s Los Angeles and Orange counties. Originally only an 8th grade graduate (garnering her education instead in skateboarding, beach culture, the local music scene, and varied criminal activities), she waits over two decades to attend Santa Monica College, transferring to UCLA for a Bachelors in Fine Art and then a Masters from CalArts. She has exhibited in Los Angeles, New York, Austria, Germany, and London.