Artist's Statement " Painting Exceptional Male Athletes "
The Olympics have been the only venue that unites the entire world in safe confrontation. Today professional sports are a significant part of our culture. They may even be a substitute for war, which so long dominated human affairs. Sports bring people together in competition that does not kill. These contemporary combats
and those portrayed by Greek art, Gerome, Manet, Eakins, Bellows and Luks lend themselves to my goal
of using art to remark publicly on the complexities of life and culture.
Rather than painting men as idols, or going to the other extreme of infantilizing or bashing them, I mean to portray male athletes not only as possessors of skill but as possessors of unique personalities
vulnerable to all of life's demands. A few are exceptional.
As a feminist I dislike the inequality between men and women. I recognize the biological and psychological differences, but wish to point out the similarities between men and women. In life and sports human beings hope for success, sometimes gain it, fail, pick themselves up, try again to be among the best
and often strive to be part of a team. Here the boundaries of gender fade.
"Susan Miller-Havens captures the heroic qualities in all her portraits and figure studies with a palette that includes the most subtle of color combinations.
Her paintings are as much about the magic of color
as the essence of heroism in her subjects."
Richard A. Johnson Curator The Sports Museum of New England
A Rhubarb (Carlton Fisk)
Oil on wood 10" x 17" Framed in burgandy-black maple
"She is one of the very few artists that gets down into the soul of her subject and brings that aspect to life on canvas..........remarkably so"
Patrick J. Riley, President The Miami Heat
Art Collector, Miller-Havens Patron