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Art & Life with Suzette Mouchaty

Today we’d like to introduce you to Suzette Mouchaty.

Suzette, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
Art is a second career for me. I was a college biology teacher before deciding to pursue art, which is my real passion. Studying science was a practical matter – I needed Pell Grants and student loans to be able to afford college so the idea of accumulating debt in order to become a “starving artist” seemed a bit fool hardy to me, even in my idealistic youth. I can’t say that I regret my years in academia. My studies took me to Alaska and to Europe and I gained a deep understanding of nature, but I am glad to finally be on the path that leads home.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I am a mixed-media artist. I handcraft sculptures using a variety of materials. Even though I am constantly experimenting with materials and processes, my favorite way to make sculpture is still assemblage. Houston’s junk shops and garage sales are my sources for mechanical objects and implements that become raw material for my art. I really get a charge out of hacking into a concept and redirecting it for my own ends. The machine, for example, is based on logic. Machines result from man’s rational thought. When I’m working in “assemblage mode”, I channel my subconscious to make quirky imaginary devices that are not logical or rational. They’re culturally perverse tonics that give me endless hours of sheer joy.

The content of my art emerges as I work, so I often don’t realize where a piece is going, so to speak, until I stand back and take a look at whatever I was ruminating on. Fortunately, my sociopolitical concerns are buffered by a healthy dose of humor, so the form of a work often belies its content. This helps make my art very approachable.

How do you think about success, as an artist, and what do quality do you feel is most helpful?
Aside from the practical concern of supporting myself as an artist, success for me is the ability to create visually engaging, stimulating and thought-provoking art. I think honesty with oneself is essential to success because meaningful art reveals truths – it gives us an understanding or a bit of clarity about life that perhaps we didn’t have before.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
Currently, I have artwork on exhibition in The Silos at Sawyer Yards. The show, Real / Surreal Juried Exhibition, will be on view there until August 19th. Visitors can see my current projects if they drop by my studio at 1907 Sabine Street during Second Saturday Open Studios at Sawyer Yards in August or during the Sawyer Yards Fall Biannual. You can also see recent work on my website: suzettemouchaty.com

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