Artist Suzy Kim’s Studio Visit/Commissioning a Painting
A couple of years ago, artist Suzy Kim had a show at Blank Space art gallery in Chelsea and I immediately fell in love with her paintings. I loved them so much I had a painting commissioned which hangs in my living room and brings me joy on a daily basis. It never fails to bring a smile to my face.
Suzy works out of an artist space in Long Island City and I went over for a visit since I curious as to how she worked.
It’s a small but efficient space with walls covered with works in progress. When initially working on a painting, she uses a workbench with the canvas laid out flat in front of her so she can pour paint onto the canvas evenly.
The paintings shown are all part of her Bloom & Backfire series. I love the explosions of color balanced with the delicate flowers.
Each canvas gets treated with layers of paint to get a certain sheen or color which can take up to a month. In total, a painting will usually take about 2-3 months to complete. Some can take up to a year or more. For my commissioned piece, from the time we talked about what I wanted to delivery, took five months. (I had a custom size which was why it took longer than usual.)
Suzy worked for artist Takashi Murakami for a couple of years and his influence really shows in her work. Before, her paintings were more on the muted side, with the shades of brown dominating, but her paintings now are really vibrant and full of bright colors. There’s tons of texture and even areas where she has mixed glitter with paint to create bursts of color. Her eye for color is amazing.
As for price points, large paintings like the one above will be in the range of $5000 – $8000. The cost depends on the size of the canvas, the materials (e.g., metals and crystals) and the number of custom colors used. She also does a Beauty Mark collection of 12″x12″ paintings which cost between $1200 – $1400 each.
The photos do not do these paintings justice. Blank Space has a few of Suzy’s paintings from her last solo show and if you want to see them in person, give them a call or email and they can pull a couple of them out for you. Take a look at the selection here.
For my painting, (pre-Murakami), I already had an idea of what I wanted since I loved her cherry blossom series. I had a budget, so Suzy gave me a couple of size options, and I went with a 48″ x 24″ canvas size. I worked with Blank Space since they represent her, which means the gallery handled the payments. I paid cash since they don’t take credit cards. 20% of the cost (nonrefundable) was paid upfront after Suzy and I discussed what I wanted, then I paid the rest right before the painting was delivered. The gallery or Suzy will hand-deliver the work to you, no charge, if you live in Manhattan.
About three or four months into the process, Suzy emailed me a photo of the work in progress. It looked fantastic so I didn’t ask for any changes. When the the painting was done a month or so later, I went to the gallery to take a final look and there was a spot that I found to be distracting so I asked for the spot to be repainted. It was done in a week and it was perfect.