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The Cardsharps

The “Cardsharps” is after many classical paintings of the same subject matter. There are a group of figures playing cards, but all is not what it seems. There is usually some deception going on. In this case the deception is not clear, if there is any at all. The figures sexual identities are ambiguous. The center figure seems to be trying to peek at the cards of the person on the left. They figure on the right seems to be hiding a card behind the table. The money in the pot is minimal and the stakes don't seem to be too high since there is also a candy necklace up for grabs. They all seem to be lighthearted and having fun. And what would any card painting be without a dog?
The Cardsharps

The “Cardsharps” is after many classical paintings of the same subject matter. There are a group of figures playing cards, but all is not what it seems. There is usually some deception going on. In this case the deception is not clear, if there is any at all. The figures sexual identities are ambiguous. The center figure seems to be trying to peek at the cards of the person on the left. They figure on the right seems to be hiding a card behind the table. The money in the pot is minimal and the stakes don't seem to be too high since there is also a candy necklace up for grabs. They all seem to be lighthearted and having fun. And what would any card painting be without a dog?

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The Cardsharps

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The Cardsharps Painting

Suzanne Shifflett

United States

Painting, Oil on Wood

Size: 38 W x 32 H x 3 D in

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About The Artwork

The Cardsharps The “Cardsharps” is after many classical paintings of the same subject matter. There are a group of figures playing cards, but all is not what it seems. There is usually some deception going on. In this case the deception is not clear, if there is any at all. The figures sexual identities are ambiguous. The center figure seems to be trying to peek at the cards of the person on the left. They figure on the right seems to be hiding a card behind the table. The money in the pot is minimal and the stakes don't seem to be too high since there is also a candy necklace up for grabs. They all seem to be lighthearted and having fun. And what would any card painting be without a dog?

Details & Dimensions

Painting:Oil on Wood

Original:One-of-a-kind Artwork

Size:38 W x 32 H x 3 D in

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I grew up in Maine as the second child of four to a single mother. We lived at my grandmother’s house. Though there were strict social rules of what a girl could or couldn't do, or be and couldn't be, my grandmother was the matriarch of this household. Being dyslexic, I really had a hard time in school except for art class. In high school I took my required classes and then spent the rest of the day in the art room. I signed up for a mentorship program to help with the applications for college. I felt as if to become an artist I would need to go to art school. Through scholarships and loans, I managed to make it through four years of undergraduate studies. While in school I was drawn to the punk counter culture scene, because it fit so well with my feeling of being an outsider. My art in turn reflected those feelings. I had been out as a lesbian since my high school years, but I didn’t have a queer community as support. That quickly changed upon moving to San Francisco California in 1988. My art went from making distorted male forms into painting empowered female forms. This had a lot to do with my freedom to be out and express my queerness. When I painted male forms, I was painting about self-identification, and when I painted female forms, I was painting about whom I desired. At the time I didn’t realize I was painting a specific place in time in queer culture. Looking back on some of these paintings, to me they read “San Francisco queers in the 1990s.” Some of my work from the late 90s reflects how I was involved in the sex workers activist movement. In the early 2000s my work reflects my interest and involvement in the BDSM community. Though there have always been concerns with gender non-conformity in my art, it’s only in the last 10 years that I’ve tackled this subject head on and in a very conscious way. In my current work, I realize that I am still trying to do that – to represent experience, people, communities that are all but invisible in our society. I want to express that which has little to no language, that is ignored in society, in law, in our community and in our art. In 2016, I in rolled in Laguna College of Art and Design to earn my master’s degree in painting. I accomplished this in two years and I’m now an adjunct for the MFA department. I recently finished a commission given to me by the Arts commission of Long Beach as the lead artist for the NEA Centennial Celebration of Women’s Suffrage.

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