Artist | London
The relationship between viewing and understand a painting as opposed to screen-based content, is central to Sam’s image making. Painting is valued by the artist as a remedial activity and a medium for reforming cold digital detritus into an authentic object. The slowed, considered act of craft is celebrated in the work as a means by which to negate certain anxieties of living in an increasingly fast paced and networked world. Painting takes on a meditative role for the artist. Relying on touch, gesture and the physicality of the painted mark to imprint the meaning in the works.
Sam’s images evoke to the viewer a sense of gritty uncertainty and dystopia in the information age, conveying references to internet subcultures, memes, sci-fi and cyberpunk fiction, environmental degradation and e-waste. A kitsch, retro aesthetic in many of the paintings serves as a metonym for the culture of nostalgia across generations and the longing for so called simpler times of the past. This appears in the works through an appropriation of the vapourwave ‘A E S T H E T I C’ – a popular trope of imagery that accompanies music from this genre that reminisces over the early utopian visions of technology, the internet, Fiji Water and capitalism. With this early utopian vision of the internet and networked technologies as a free and harmless space long gone, humans are arriving at power struggle with ever smarter technologies in our attempts to find purpose, peace and truth.
With social media amplifying a gloomy post-truth predicament and the physical world increasingly being flooded by the visual language of networks, the authentic art object retains its integrity to inform and inspire. Sam also utilises photoshop and digital images and in his practise as well as moving image. He is currently studying an MA in Painting at the Royal College of Art.