Multi award winning reportage artist Sue Coe started drawing at the age of 5. Coe has described how during art school demonstrations in the sixties some of the visitors to their strike were artists who had political content in their work: ‘they made posters and agit prop work, and I saw that it was possible to integrate art and content, this was a revelation.’
Coe once recalled how, not long after the Second World War, she would question adults why so many had to die, and of not receiving logical answers. Coe first developed her passion to stop cruelty to animals through the experience of growing up close to a slaughterhouse with a small factory farm at the back of her house. She has said, ‘It was living among innocents who were about to die, and the war memorials of the dead.’ In addition to animal abuse, Coe’s subject matter also includes homelessness, racism, hunger, AIDS, war, rape and apartheid.
Coe studied at the Royal College of Art from 1970-73, and has lived in America since graduating. She is known for her confrontational art which exposes social problems ignored or concealed by governments, corporations, society and the media and through this work has been compared to great artists of the past, such as Honore Daumier, Kathe Kollwitz and Francisco Goya.
Coe’s drawings have appeared in numerous newspapers and in publications such as the New Yorker, Village Voice, the Nation, Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Esquire and Mother Jones. Coe’s books include How to Commit Suicide in South Africa, Paintings and Drawings by Sue Coe, X (The Life and Times of Malcolm X), Dead Meat, Pit’s Letter, Bully: Master of the Global Merry-Go-Round, Sheep of Fools: A Blab! Storybook – Voted “Book of the Year” by PETA, and Cruel and Topsy. Coe’s work is in the Museum of Modern Art and she has had numerous major solo exhibitions, produced documentary film and various computer works including an AIDS Prevention Mural for RedHot Organization.