At Noah we’ve always valued the importance of working with artists and showcasing the diversity of their work, especially within our own New York community. This season, inspired by the black-eyed Susan flower featured on a few of our garments, we asked three New York–based artists to create original artworks based on their interpretation of the black eyed susan flower.
We’re proud to introduce artists Judith Supine, Sarah Bachman, and Kwesi Abbensett, and their incredible work, currently on view at our flagship store in SoHo, New York.
Judith Supine is a multidisciplinary artist living and working between New York and Mexico. Currently focused on the complexities of self-identification by means of nature and form, Judith explores the figurative language one can create through wildlife, iconography, and space.
“Her daddy's just a plain old farmer, mother's just a farmer too; They surely raised some pretty daisy when they raised my little Sue. You may have your pretty roses, violets, and pansies too; you can Keep your snow-white lilies, I will leave them all for you.” –”Where the Black-Eyed Susan’s Grow” by Al Jolson
I’m the passenger in a truck leaving Newark airport cargo. Coming around the off-ramp, black-eyed Susan’s are hanging off the guardrail—they feel like the onlookers to a marathon. I’ve never run a marathon but it reminds me of ten years earlier, doing drugs all night with a friend named Turbo. He was scheduled to run an Urbanathlon at 8 a.m. We were still wide awake when his girlfriend, Chrissy, buzzed up. Turbo jumped in bed and faked a deep sleep; I turned off Lord of the Rings and wiped down the glass table. Turbo got up and ran half the race, dry heaving in a flower bed in Central Park.
Sarah is a designer, art director, and artist based in New York City. Her practice is focused on visual identity, packaging, illustration, and campaign direction. Her passion lies in finding the intersection of art and design. As a studied designer, she creates work that satisfies both aesthetic and functional needs. Experimenting with different mediums and learning new techniques is a major part of her approach in creating fresh, original work. The techniques she uses in her work include colored pencil botanical illustrations, fabric dye and fabric paint, marker, ink and brushes, and watercolor. She believes that these hand-touched elements evoke emotion, feeling, and ultimately help tell a story.
The flowers were drawn in colored pencil, then scanned, enlarged, and layered over the background. The background is marbled fabric that I dyed, and scanned. Since the concept was to highlight the black-eyed Susan, I wanted the flowers to feel larger than life, and I wanted them to interact with each other. The middle layer is an airbrush-style stroke to create depth, alluding to the idea that the flowers were among a field of black-eyed Susans. Instead of drawing the leaves in full detail, I used cut paper that minimized them to simple shapes, allowing the stems and leaves to fall behind, while the flowers are the main focal point.
Kwesi Abbensetts is an intuitionist. His work is tightly bound to his identity and, consequently, the work and subjects become a rendered celebration of his culture. Abbensetts’s work is concerned with what he calls, “Revisionary Self-Appropriation.” It’s a work that seeks to build new context and representation of self, not relying on direct posited contemporary references. It relies on “blood memory,” invention, and experimentation via the process of intuitive force performance.
This series of work is inspired by summer. The black-eyed Susan flower becomes summer and is summer. It becomes a feeling that evokes warm emotion and playfulness. With these works, I wanted to communicate those feelings using the black-eyed Susan as inspiration and source material to create something new. To articulate a different interpretation of its beauty in a novel way.