RSM Gallery Talk with Charles Suggs: Conjuring - September 28, 2023
RSM Gallery is proud to present Conjuring, by Charles Suggs. The exhibit features Suggs’ smoke paintings- black and white portraits of the artist’s friends, family, and strangers. In 2018, Charles Suggs learned about drawing with candle smoke while visiting Cape Town, South Africa. In 2020, During the Covid 19 lockdown, he decided to take time to explore this technique. It has become a primary medium for the artist, playing a significant and persistent role in his projects. To create each portrait, the artist works from recollections and photographs. He starts with a detailed under-drawing, which is quickly subsumed by the fast-moving smoke. The haunting images created by this process offer striking details set amongst softer edges. The features concealed and revealed in the drawing process speak to loss and connection. The ambiguities within the portraits allow viewers to discover the semblance of someone familiar. This process of recognition stirs associations for the viewer. The dark, evanescent, and uncontrollable smoke is a metaphor for memory.