Susan Richman

Winning bodies of work

Susan Richman was born in Washington, Pennsylvania, and now lives in Hastings on Hudson, a suburb of NYC. Her love affair with photography began in her freshman year of college when she was forced to pick between art or math as a course elective. To the dismay of her parents who were hoping she would become a lawyer, she majored in Fine Arts with a focus on photography and upon graduation she began a successful career as a commercial photographer in Manhattan. After years of photographing other people’s visions, she has evolved into an artist and educator. Prior to Covid, she was a teacher at The International Center for Photography in NYC and is currently a member of the Upstream Gallery in NY. 

Richman’s interests lie in exploring the link between existence, decay, and loss. For the past decade, she has primarily concentrated on producing work about the damage being done to our environment by creating images that capture and preserve the fleeting nature of the world. Through art she hopes to increase awareness and inspire change.

Recent awards and recognitions include: 2021 Solo Exhibition of Jenga at The Cloud Gallery at the Griffin Museum; 2021 The Art Of New York Group Exhibition at the Arkell Museum; 2021 Open Walls Arles; Finalist, 2021 Larry Salley Photography Award, ArtsWestchester; Best Of Show, 2020 Non Member National Juried Exhibition, Salmagundi Club. Recent press includes being a featured artist in the 2021 spring edition of Hook Magazine and The Photo Review 2021 Competition Issue, and both Create and F-Stop in 2020. In 2019, The New York Times and The Washington Post highlighted her work in an article titled Elements Provide Inspiration at Architectural Digest Show.

For her series Jenga, Richman layered plants and other materials, media, and dyes on multiple sheets of glass that are separated by Jenga blocks. Each photo is created as a Memento Mori to honour and memorialise insects and other small animals whose alarming decline due to habitat changes, pesticides, deforestation, and global warming makes their recognition all the more poignant. Richman was inspired by the rise of Memento Mori photographs in the Victorian era to commemorate deceased loved ones, showing them exquisitely posed in their finest clothes and surrounded by their favorite objects. She titled this series after the game of stacked blocks that ultimately collapse as supporting blocks are removed, one by one, not unlike the possibility of our world crashing down as the supports necessary to sustain us are removed.

All of the insects or animals used in creating the photographs for this series were either found in Richman’s neighborhood or purchased from a company that claims the specimens for sale were farm-raised and died of natural causes.