When I first moved to Mexico City, it felt very freeing to be removed from my peers in New York City. The always-judging social eye was no longer present. Whether or not that was real or self-created, I felt a sense of relief and more space in my brain. I don’t think the fear of being less than—or not enough—is exclusive to creative endeavors, but the solitary nature of creating tends to lend itself to self-doubt. 

I initially made one friend here, Sofía Ortiz. She introduced me to a community of artists and nice people. One day some folks came and forcibly stole the entire building that our studio was in. I never have had to stop painting but during the period when we were kicked out of our studio, I worked solo on collages. 

Making collages is my safe space. I started making them twenty years ago when I was sleeping in my brother’s living room. I was at a financial low point but full of self-belief and creative energy. I needed to operate small and cheaply. I was working at a Science Museum in Richmond, Virginia, and making collages from my neighbor's trash.

One day while I was browsing for old magazines in a Mexico City bookstore, one of the employees gave me the address of a secret spot full of what I was looking for and I soon found myself at a nondescript door with no sign except for a tiny handwritten note next to the buzzer. It opened into a beautiful courtyard housing a library stacked with endless magazines. It is a magical space and I’ve become friends with the couple who works there. We play chess when I visit. Chess is part of my daily practice. Meditation, chess, drawing, and anxiety.

I am now in a new studio and working on paintings for a show in June. I don’t think where I’m working dictates quality—my emotional and mental space is much more impactful. —Judith Supine


Photographs by Alex Nicholson in Mexico City, 2022 // This article was originally published in our Spring 2023 Quarterly