If you don’t know him already, you need to…
Club kid Scotty Sussman is transforming New York nightclubs into drunken, strobe-lit, fantasy galleries with his character Sussi. From the pages of Vanity Fair, to his ever-evolving Instagram feed, Sussi is challenging our notions of what is glamorous, what is grotesque, and what is art.
We got the chance to chat with Sussi about pop culture and his ever-evolving aesthetic. Check it out:
BRANDON: Do you see a difference between Scotty and Sussi
SUSSI: I do. I don’t consider myself a drag queen. As I don’t look like someone else, and I don’t want to – I want to look like an extension of whatever fantasies are going on in my head… The face that I’m painting on, is the face that I wish I had permanently – it’s just an extension of my character. So that’s why I don’t push my name. It’s why I go with Sussi – I just made my last name shorter. And I added the “i” because it’s cute and genderless.
So is Sussi drag, or is it something more?
I don’t want to define myself to female impersonation. I think drag is so special, but it’s not for me. And I really respect those who do it. Anyone who’s really taught me anything is a drag queen. But I feel like it’s my job to take what I know and then kind of flip it on its head, and like, ask the same questions that they’re asking, but in a totally different way, about like gender. I think you can be whatever you want to be. It can change every day.
Where did Sussi come from?
I started as a painter… And as a visual artist, I was so upset with having to paint and give it away… I could wear my paintings better than a canvas. So I just do it on myself now. And I can like, own my own painting, kind of thing.
So is Sussi art?
Like when I go to a nightclub, it’s kind of like I’m on display in a gallery, but everyone’s drunks so everyone likes the art they’re looking at. So it’s like, when I’m up on the barstool, or the couch, with the looks, and the lights, and stuff, and the music, it’s kind of, like, the full fantasy; it’s a very immersive experience being in a nightclub. Witnessing such beauty. Like all the characters you’re seeing; it’s such a freeing moment and everyone’s dancing.
How did you develop your aesthetic?
You ‘wanna talk about my inspirations and whatnot? A lot of it’s like the villains from Scooby Doo – and I try to keep it very classic to. So like children’s books, or fantasy characters are honestly the biggest inspiration for me. Just because, when I dress up, I try to keep it as childlike as possible, where I’m just playing dress up; like all I’m doing is in a costume closet. Seeing what story I can tell with what I have.
Every time I wear purple and green, it makes my heart fuzzy. I just want to look like a Scooby doo vampire villain at the end of the day, like, that’s it.
Do you watch Drag Race?
I live for it – it’s our sports. Okay, now that were having this conversation, I might as well just say it… I love that we have sports now… ‘Cause growing up, the kids around my school were always talking about sports and all these things I didn’t care about really, but now that we have Drag Race it’s kind of like our TSN – like, what do you call it – ESPN? Like all of these sport network things. We kind of have that now. And I’m so ready for it to be like megadome, I ‘wanna see this in arenas; I’m ready, I live for it.
Would you ever submit an audition tape?
I would love to create or direct a queen’s audition tape. I would love to participate in getting someone on the show. But I wouldn’t submit my own “hi this is me!” because I like to display myself in more of a gallery type way… It’s the best TV. But It’s also why I would never be on it. Cause I wouldn’t help it. I wouldn’t do well. I wouldn’t make good TV.
Do you have a favorite queen?
Milk and Violet will always be my favorites.
Pink or Black?
Both at once, that is the monster high combo… Avril Lavigne pallet.
What’s the future for Sussi?
I like to present everything very specifically and I don’t like to release too much of myself too quickly. As far as like the future goes, I know what I want, but you’ll see it when you see it…
I know for sure, I want to do less of what I do on myself and with my friends, but on other people. For the future, I think once the Sussi character has told its story, there will for sure be more exterior.
Keep slaying, everyone that’s reading this.