Sue Coe (born 21 February 1951) is an English artist and illustrator, working primarily in drawing and printmaking, often in the form of illustrated books and comics. She grew up close to a slaughterhouse and developed a passion to stop cruelty to animals. Coe studied at the Royal College of Art in London and lived in New York City from 1972 to 2001. She lives in upstate New York. Her work is highly political, often directed against capitalism and cruelty to animals.
Coe was born in Tamworth, Staffordshire. For a quarter century she has explored factory farming, meat packing, apartheid, sweat shops, prisons, AIDS, and war. Her commentary on political events and social injustice is published in newspapers, magazines and books. The results of her investigations are hung in museum and gallery exhibitions and form an essential part of personal fine print collections by artists and activists alike. Coe's paintings and prints are auctioned as fund raisers for a variety of progressive causes and, since 1998, she has sold prints to benefit animal rights organizations.
Her major influences include the works of Chaim Soutine and José Guadalupe Posada, Käthe Kollwitz, Francisco Goya and Rembrandt. She is a frequent contributor to World War 3 Illustrated, and has seen her work published in The Progressive, Mother Jones, Blab, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Time Magazine, Newsweek The Nation and other periodicals.
In the 1980s, Coe was featured on the cover of Art News and her artwork has appeared in numerous museum collections and exhibitions. In 2002, Brown University staged an exhibition of her work titled Commitment to the Struggle: The Art of Sue Coe.
Recent projects include 9-11, on the collapse of the World Trade Center, and her publication Bully: Master of the Global Merry-Go-Round (2004), a critique of the Bush administration. Her latest book Sheep of Fools… a song cycle for 5 voices was published in September 2005.
She taught courses at Parsons School of Design about social awareness in art. Coe was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Associate Academician in 1993, and became a full Academician in 1994.
Her work is represented by Galerie St. Etienne in New York City.
- How to Commit Suicide in South Africa (with Holly Metz). (1984) Random House. ISBN 0-394-62024-0
- X (with Judith Moore). (1986) RAW Books. ISBN 1-56584-032-1
- Meat: Animals and Industry (with Mandy Coe). (1991) Gallerie Publications. ISBN 0-9693361-6-0
- Dead Meat. (1996) Four Walls Eight Windows. ISBN 1-56858-041-X
- Pit's Letter. (2000) Four Walls Eight Windows. ISBN 1-56858-163-7
- Bully!: Master of the Global Merry-Go-Round (with Judith Brody). (2004) Four Walls Eight Windows. ISBN 1-56858-323-0
- Sheep of Fools (with Judith Brody). (2005) Fantagraphics Books. ISBN 1-56097-660-8
- Cruel: Bearing Witness to Animal Exploitation. (2012) OR Books. ISBN 978-1-935928-72-0