Susan Caspi, 2014. Limited Edition. No. 14 of 24. Artist book with four components. Fine. Item #CNSC01
A lovely poem of longing and insight, beginning: "As lovers welded by their passion / hands, by gloves, encased in fashion" and ending with "do they protect or do they smother? / when I see gloves, I see my mother". The artist has placed her poem upon a replica pair of gloves which can be housed in the evening bag, along with the lipstick and compact - as Susan says in her Artist's Statement: "The gloves representing propriety and the lady like attire that was my mother. An evening bag to contain them but made with Japanese fabrics to represent something more substantial emotionally, a lipstick because you should always show your prettiest face, and a powder compact for the same reason with my mother's lovely face and sweet smile looking back out". Susan realized one day why she was unable to bear having gloves on her hands, even in the snow; because they made her feel suffocated. At that point she wrote the poem. The back story is more complex: "My mother had a rather difficult childhood, with a mentally unstable and occasionally violent father and a mother who had cancer from the time she was nine and died when she was seventeen. So she was thrust into the role of family caretaker at nine. Due to all of these circumstances she withdrew inside herself and with her extreme theatrical bent paid close attention to creating an air of stability and normality using fashion and theater as her guides. She was always properly turned out and the stage she set was a very lovely one. Unfortunately inside her there was an entirely different story being told. I was born the last of three children and my mother was overwhelmed completely by my brothers before I even came along. Being that I was her daughter she wished in her heart to create the mother-daughter relationship she had dreamed about growing up. But she wished too hard and it had to do with her fantasy more than reality. Unfortunately, due to the fact that it was completely external and had to do with how it looked to others it didn't go well. When I was five (in 1958) I had a nanny for a year who came from Japan. I adored her and subsequently everything Japanese. I ate sushi, wore a kimono she brought me for playtime, and admired Japanese art and culture. I still do and since I am a quilter and collect fabrics I had a small collection of Japanese textiles. Goze (her name) gave me the most tangible feelings of motherly love I had ever felt. We stayed in contact until I was about twelve". ***DESCRIPTION: The book is a composite of four items: the purse, which is made of antique obi materials, both the outer and inner fabrics, and which has a magnetic closure; the gloves upon which is printed the sixteen-line poem, they were made in four pieces, hinged and glued; the compact, which has a covering of black lace wtih a rhinestone, the "powder" being of felt, and a picture of Susan's mother in lieu of a mirror, the image printed inkjet; and a lipstick of paper and washi tape, glued and painted. Unbound, each element separate. No. 14 of 24 (according to Susan only ten of the fourteen are for sale), numbered, signed and dated by the artist in pencil. The elements are all enclosed in a mylar box for protection. ***CONDITION: Each element fine. ***POSTAGE: International customers, please note that additional postage may apply; please inquire for details. ***Swan's Fine Books is pleased to be a member of the ABAA, ILAB and IOBA and we stand behind every book we sell. Please contact us with any questions, we are here to help.