The World of Sue Kreitzman

Click the image below to go to Sue's Wikipedia page (opens in a new window).

I am an expatriate New Yorker, living in London for many years. I've had a long and successful career as a food writer, but something happened in 1998 (I'm still not sure what) and I stopped writing and cooking, and began drawing, painting, and building assemblages instead. It was as if a violent fever had overtaken me (a fever which still rages), made all the more mysterious by the fact that I had never done such a thing before.

My work is completely untutored (as far as technique and materials are concerned, I make it up as I go along), intensely personal and involves colour, food, freedom and the female landscape. I fashion imagined Goddesses, glimpsed strangers, close friends, my personal female heroines, real and mythological - Josephine Baker, Frida Kahlo, Eve, Medusa - and self-portraits, and I adorn these powerful female images with profound symbols crafted from junk.

I am deeply moved by primitive religious and tribal art of all kinds. Images and objects that have been created with passion take on immense power.

I paint on paper or on found wood, with acrylics and nail varnish. Many of the works on wood are embellished with buttons, broken jewelry, toys, and other bits of profound junk (I have a deep and abiding passion for profound junk).

I also build assemblages, memory jugs and neckshrines out of my vast hoards of detritus. Half my time is spent obsessively trawling for junk, and the other half, obsessively putting it all together. At this time I'm creating for the sheer visceral joy of it. The enormous impact it has had on my life has turned me into another person entirely.

My Journey into Art

When I spotted a call for artists for the 2005 Raw Arts Festival, to be held in Islington, I geared up all of my courage and applied, completely sure that I would be rejected, reviled, and laughed out of London.

I was accepted! I was on my way to Glory! Surely I was going to be acknowledged as a real, honest-to-goodness Outsider Artist! But I quaked in my boots. Would there be many women in the show? More to the point, would there be any older women in the show? (I was 65 at the time.)

To my joy there were other women in the show, from middle aged to (almost) my age. The talent! The warm appreciation and support! The openhearted enjoyment of each other's work! How we bonded, how we talked into the night.

One evening, over a particularly memorable dinner in Chinatown, I idly commented: "We should have a show of our own, called 'WOW!!' for Wild Old Women. What a dramatic and exciting exhibition it would be." Four years later, there we were: the original gang from 2005 along with other Wild Women gathered along the way. Wild, most certainly; middle aged to elderly... hell yes! - and undoubtedly women. How sweet life can be.

Raw Vision Magazine review of the WOW: Wild Old Women Exhibition:

My Life as a Curator:

Since then, I have curated 'Flashier and Trashier' in the crypt of St Pancras Church, and 'Dare to Wear' in 2012. I have added Wild Old Men to our original gang of Wild Old Women: we set the city ablaze with colour, texture, and sublime detritus!

Sue and her friend and co-curator Peter Herbert

Peter Herbert and I have a very profound friendship. We met when a mutual (now deceased) friend left an image of one of my art pieces on his desk. That random happenstance resulted in an art friendship and partnership that has gone on for many years. Peter Herbert and I went on to co-curate many remarkable exhibitions, in remarkable venues: WOW, Flashier and Trashier, Dare to Wear, Epiphanies, Chromophilia.... and we produced another blockbuster, 'Colour Me Ecstatic', at the end of 2018. Peter has made me a better artist and a better curator. I cannot imagine my life without this friendship.