Artists Statement-Sam King. Painter.
Sam King is a painter who has been developing her practice since she graduated from COFA in the ’90s. Her painting practice is a bower bird collection of styles and mediums. Starting with her canvasses, usually old paintings and framed posters, thrown out during community clean-ups. Sam is interested in recycling material to reduce her carbon footprint, and often the content in her work will be inspired simply by the canvass. It can save the cost of the framing. After a layer of gesso, the frames become part of the painting.
Sam will use anything from oil paint to cheap poster paint to house paint and paint pens. Anything that helps her create the visions in her head. Inspired by Van Gogh. Sam has taken an expression used by the Art Historian Simon Schama about the artist “painting from inside the head” to refer to her work and help explain her style.
Influenced by her years in the entertainment industry as a lighting designer, Sam’s work is full of dramatic saturated colour. Text and symbols from popular culture and cultural movements like Punk and the GAY Rights movements of the 80’s/90’s, through to poets and play writes, and comic books are all used to tell a story in Sam’s paintings. Everything you see on one of Sam’s canvasses is a deliberate choice designed to say to the viewer something. A piece of the artist’s life or comment on modern life. Sometimes simply even a joke. Everything is a clue that will lead you somewhere. The approach is similar to that of theatre production. The colors are your backdrop, actors’ images, and the text is part of a script.
Sam’s current series of paintings is a deeply personal comment on her life as a Butch woman and a member of the LGBTQI+ community. Sam hopes to take the Queer visual language forward and play with it by telling stories of her own life in color and paint. With references to Warhol, Keith Haring, and Basquiat and style techniques that give the nod to the Impressionists and the Art Nouveau movement, Sam has created her style she calls Post-Punk Nouveau. It suits the controlled theatricality of this Artists’s work.