From the Artist: Repurposing my art has been part of my oeuvre for many years. When they no longer serve my purpose, I cut up and reassemble paintings, positioning the pieces to become something else. In the winter of 2021, I decided to explore the properties of the surgical masks that had become common place over the past year. I aimed to repurpose the paper face-coverings to distract from their original use. During the pandemic, those masks were a constant reminder of a horrific and dire situation. I set out to modify their message by painting the masks, cutting them into pieces, and arranging the strips on paper.

The earliest images in this series had a static density that highlighted the texture and color variations of the materials. As I continued to push the boundaries of the medium, an optimistic levity emerged. The heaviness loosened, giving way to subsequent compositions of weightless, upward whirls. Forms began to reference the colorful plumage of a bird in flight, or the stirrings of a gentle breeze. I am continuing to work on this series, and as spring approaches I am reminded of nature’s resilience.


  • Title: Can Spring Be Far Behind
  • Creator: Susan Manspeizer
  • Date Created: 21st Century
  • Location Created: New York, USA
  • Physical Dimensions: 33"x25"
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Repurposed Surgical Mask

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