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In order to plan out the bigger compositions Sam creates collages on photoshop: splicing and re-organising imagery, adding sections of previous paintings, text, logos and digital painting. Using a square method, the collage is scaled up onto canvas and is worked quite mechanically in oil paint. The new narratives created in the collages portray a dystopian, immediate future on earth where man is at a power balance with machine and today's current affairs have a more tightened grip on society than ever before.
The source material makes quite a linear, and deconstructive journey; through re-arrangement, scanning, collaging and eventually scaling up and manifesting a result in oil on canvas. Sam views his body as a kind of machine in the working process. The input to the machine is the wealth and overflow of photographic material which is typically experienced when using the internet or Instagram for example. The output is a new narrative created from different photographs.The digital collaging process provides a set of instructions for the painting, but the only difference in the 'real' finished piece is the appearance of the paint under whatever light conditions are present. Alterations, in the form of expressive brush marks and human error give it its realness. The act of smearing and blending colour by hand and working to the instructions given by the collage can sometimes feel quite remedial.
It is interesting to the artist as to why he feels compelled to realise the final works in a traditional, labour intensive way as opposed to finding the meaning in the collaging process. It is this lengthy interaction or even conflict with a fluid medium like paint that produces the remedial feeling. There is a mood of beautiful meagreness that arises from the man/machine paradigm. The human error when transcribing something screen or digitally based into paint simply gives new value to the image.
Painting directly onto print
I often use magazines as palettes. Although I haven't developed much of an abstract language in my work aside from that which derives directly from digitally created abstraction (pixelation, noise, scan smears, low quality etc) I like the resulting paintings. I find it interesting for many reasons. The palette starts off giving paint to another painting, causing ones attention to be only on the painting in question. The attention the palette receives is minimal or even unconscious, yet it still eventually turns out having at least some aesthetic value. Furthermore, it's value as an object is shifted further when it is scanned and further edited, and thrown back into the process somewhere else down the line.
For intricate sections of the paintings like logos or text, Sam uses hand cut stencils from printer images (shown above)