Susan Lizotte was born in Los Angeles, and adopted at two months old. When she was one, she moved with her adopted parents to Bronxville in Westchester County, NY; they moved back to L.A. when she was 14. She earned her B.A. in Theater Arts at UCLA –discovering her love for art and art history through a class at the end of her senior year. While still in college, she worked part time designing men’s custom dress shirts, and went on to start her own business designing bespoke shirts and suits for men, and ran it for fifteen years. After finding and meeting her biological mother – an artist –Lizotte finally decided to pursue her love of art and painting. She resides in Los Angeles, balancing her studio practice with life with her husband, four children, and family pets including a peacock.
My Spring Map paintings are inspired by the quarantine of Covid-19. They are a means to juxtapose the 14th century plague with the 21st century pandemic. Using Renaissance maps to speak to the spread of disease felt fitting as a starting point for finding our place in a new unknown world. The geography of these old maps is inaccurate, strange and unsettling. I’m using this inaccuracy deliberately to convey confusion and disorientation.
My Mappa Mundi takes inspiration from Martin Waldseemuller’s 1507 map of the globe (the first map to name “America”). Creating the painting out of twelve canvases (each measure eighteen by twenty four inches), using the identical measurements as the 1507 map, seems the perfect metaphor for how the entire globe has been shattered by Covid-19, nation’s shutting borders and residents under lockdown, all separated.
Covid-19 has been largely an unseen, silent killer, almost an abstraction. Victims have been obscured by medical equipment and by quarantine. The map paintings use paint as an abstraction and nature as our symbol of hope going forward. The use of boundaries is my metaphor for boundaries between the virus and humanity. Each line is deliberately wavy, deliberately handmade as it moves through time and space, my personal framing of the pandemic. The colors are a nod to spring and regeneration, including flowers in states of full blossom as well as decay. The paintings are my thoughts and dreams of our place in time.