Artist Statement and Bio
Suzun Lucia Lamaina, born of Italian and Gypsy descent, began using her first camera, a Diana, at age twelve. For twenty-eight years she has been exploring the visual language of photography.
Her photographic education began at the Philadelphia College of Art, (now known as the University of the Arts), in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She wanted a challenge, and so moved her life to the West Coast to continue studying photography at the San Francisco Art Institute. She has been living in the San Francisco Bay area making photographs for 19 years.
While a student at the San Francisco Art Institute, she studied with noted Farm Security Administration photographer, John Collier, Jr. Upon graduating in 1986, Suzun co-taught with John Collier, Jr., for three years at the San Francisco Art Institute. It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, Suzun writes. I came into my own as a teacher and experienced the joy of what it means to learn from my students.
Graduate school led her to San Francisco State University where she received her Masters degree in the Interdisciplinary Arts Program in 1990. She combined her other areas of study, such as anthropology and women studies, to formulate a foundation for her photographic work.
The Coffee Logo series (shown above) is an exploration of the relationship between the coffee logo and the attraction to coffee. I believe there is a deep connection to the visual imagery we see everyday and the profound effect it has on our lives. When one is interested in having a cup of coffee it is the signage that one looks for to draw them into the café or coffee shop to experience the cup of coffee. It is not the coffee itself but the visual signage that makes the connection in the mind to step inside the café or the coffee shop. We live in such a visual world that we automatically look for visual clues to choose from to take us to where we want to be, thus drinking a cup of coffee. The coffee logos are hand-painted signs I found while walking through the streets of San Francisco.
The original pictures are 35mm slides, then made into Polaroid emulsion transfers on 160-lb. watercolor paper.
Suzun exhibits her work nationally and internationally, and is currently part of the Women In Photography International 20th Anniversary Exhibition. She teaches at the University of California, Santa Cruz Extension program, and the Walnut Creek Civic Arts program. Her artistic philosophy and approach to photography is, "Take responsibility for the world around you, communicate visually, and make photographs which come from your heart!
December 30, 2002 An Interview with Ms. Suzun Lucia Lamaina: Professional & Academic Perspectives of Photography
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