c sucsanLet’s talk about your ideas. What do you want your work to say? All my work attempts to express feeling and stimulate the mind, no matter what technique or medium. Living through time, new environments and places, social turmoil and people. It all has an influence on ideas, it has to, inspiration should be easily influenced.

A new passion which over took me and I think a new era is starting in my work. My most recent preoccupation is harmony in geometric form and color.  The assurance, at the twilight of my life is the driving force to produce a totally new way of expressing ideas.

Curious how you are feeling about contemporary art and design…is it driving culture in a good way? I am not escaping the contemporary way of expression, I am still very much in it. How can I judge if something is good anyway? One thing is for sure, that it must be good because art is everywhere now. We have never been bombarded with so many artful  images. Trucks, buildings, clothing, and cities are decorated and covered with art and design. This makes me happy, I can still see things around me that are creative.

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 11.08.04 PMYour work consistently expresses the human form. Do you think this figurative style is still important, are we looking for our objects to reflect humanity back to us? I am pulled a part between figurative work and abstraction, it really depends on the period. If you look around today, the figure is obviously still so important to us. We used to think it literally embodied perfect harmony, but now this may not be the case.

Do you think that Canadian culture had a golden age? Certainly after the war. As the economy progressed, our art evolved. Demand for it was everywhere, and we saw it in film, illustration, advertising, and design. The was such an exchange with other cultures.

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Tell us about designs/arts relationship to culture in Quebec? This of course is difficult. There was a period in Quebec when just a few privileged  artists were sponsored, but the outsiders also gave a tremendous push to our provincial culture. I felt ostracized in official circles here, and this forced me to exhibit in Ontario and all over Canada, where I received tremendous support and sold many of my favourite works of art. 

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Canada was on such a soul search during the first century, looking to art and design to help define itself. Design had such an explosion in ’67 – did you feel that boost? Of course I felt it, I was part of it. Can you imagine, I am in my best age of production capacities, it was just extraordinary! Enthusiasm was every where. The decline started with the economical slow down about ten years ago, and today the opportunity for creativity is totally changed. Maybe over production and a lower demand. I found my way to stay free and independent. This has no price and to day I can say that I filled my life in happiness, raised a family of five kids, so the future is still bright for me.

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You work across mediums, objects and craft, making fine art, murals and sculpture. What drives this medium journey? As an art student we had to work in the craft workshop. I had a classmate who’s father had a ceramic shop, and I learned the basic techniques of clay work. Once in Montreal, I shared a workshop and started my own production lines. Since I had fine art formation I considered the clay as any other material to create works of art. Clay is so easy to manipulate in three dimensions. My production were condemned by orthodox potters because my work looked experimental, and was researching new form of expressions. Occasionally I still do some clay work but I don’t consider the traditional ceramic as major art form, now I feel it is a smaller art form.

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Do you think the idea of “Branding yourself” and artists working with PR firms is a good thing? This is relative…for me, at my age, “Branding myself” is not relevant, but in today’s always on media the contemporary artist must do it. As for PR firms it could help to spread my notoriety, but again at my age, what would be the difference. Maybe for my collectors, it would help a lot in valuating my art.

Charles-Sucsan

We are big fans of this series of plates with charming snapshots of small town scenes. What was behind these dishes, is there a place that inspired them? I was researching cubism, and was putting together cubes together in the form of houses. The cool feeling drew me to the form of the village. These images started as abstraction and eventually became these realistic village scenes. I did this theme in clay, on glass, enameled tiles, paintings, across a few different periods. I did like the poetic expression I could make out of this theme. The plate were considered a base on which I drew the scene. They were in big demand and I worked to create many, many version. The village image is so nostalgic in peoples mind, this is why they were popular.

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What one sentence “life in art” lesson would you share with others? Visual art is food for the soul. Without art, spiritual life would be non-existent. Looking at my personal history with critical eyes, I see that I have learned so many important lessons. Art makes people human.

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What is your fave:
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Car/ Dodge Van
Sculpture/ Henry Moore’s ‘Lying Woman’
Architecture/ Burj Khalifa
Season/ Fall
Flower/ red roses

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