Suzanne Opton’s series Soldier examines the humanity of soldiers who have fought in Iraq or Afghanistan. Describing the intentions of her work, she says, “We all experience strategic moments when we feel most alive. These are the moments we will always remember, be they transcendent or horrific. After all, what are we if not our collection of memories? In making these portraits of soldiers, I simply wanted to look in the face of someone who’d seen something unforgettable.”
Suzanne Opton has shown this series in exhibitions at venues such as Light Work; CEPA Gallery in Buffalo, NY; and the Musee de l’Eysee in Lausanne, Switzerland. In addition to billboards that accompanied Light Work’s exhibition, Soldier billboards were installed in six states in 2008 and received extensive press coverage, including The New York Times. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Austin Museum of Art in Austin, TX; the Brooklyn Museum in Brooklyn, NY; Library of Congress in Washington, DC; the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, TX; Portland Art Museum in Portland, OR; the Musee de l’Eysee; and the Yale Art Gallery in New Haven, CT, among others. Opton is the recipient of a 2009 John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, as well as grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She participated in Light Work’s Artist-in-Residence Program in 2005.