Macha Suzuki: This is the End

macha suzuki

February 8, 2014

When you see an exhibition title like This is the End, apocalyptic visions of ruin may suggestively form in one’s mind. Words like failure, lost, last, impossible, even death, are frequently found in the titles of Macha Suzuki’s artworks. For Suzuki, making artwork has always been a way to test out new materials and techniques, and to challenge himself to broaden his ever-expanding practice. Making artwork is also the method by which the artist gives form to his subjective experiences and perceptions about the complexities of our lives.

Suzuki always draws from the personal. He makes work inspired by big ideas about loss and change, and is equally inspired by small moments of reflection. His work is never literal, though—it is open to interpretation and remains decidedly ambiguous. The artist translates thoughts and memories about, for instance, his childhood, family, struggles, and faith, into his work, without divulging actual stories to us. In the body of work included this show, 2008-2014, Suzuki seems to suggest that we are all fallible and that it’s actually fine.

A giant, illuminated “F” hung at a tilted angle on the wall can be read as a symbol of failure writ large—“F is a loaded letter in its own right,” the artist explains. Somehow, though, the severity of this failing grade doesn’t quite have the same impact we might expect. With a beautiful shiny patterned surface and a bright glow, this F seems to playfully mock the very shame it is meant to convey.

Suzuki has been especially inspired to make work about life’s transformations. The piece Death and Rebirth, 2010, is autobiographical in nature and is one of his most complex to date. This ornate funereal installation certainly conveys a strong feeling of loss and bereavement. Look closely at Death and Rebirth and you’ll notice that from within the lifeless body, another figure is pushing through. With every change we make, we give up a part of our former self— with every new chapter, we leave something behind. In the exhibition, This is the End, the artist leaves it up to us to interpret our own endings and beginnings.

Opening Reception

macha suzuki
macha suzuki
macha suzuki
macha suzuki
macha suzuki
macha suzuki

Images by Monica Orozco


Admissions is free and we are open to the public.


  • TUE: 12-4
  • WED: 12-4
  • THU: 12-7
  • FRI: 12-4
  • SAT: 12-4

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museum sponsors

East Los Angeles College
Thomas Silliman
The Getty Foundation
The Alice L. Walton Foundation
The Ford Foundation
The Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
Bank of America
Art Bridges
Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture
Barbara Hensleigh & Joe Andrews
Pasadena Art Alliance
MUFG Union Bank
City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs
Alfred Fraijo, Jr. and Arturo Becerra-Fraijo
Dr. Richard and Rebecca Zapanta
Sabas Carrillo