Sam Martin Biography

Emerging talent Sam Martin’s works examines the permeable relationship between abstract and figurative painting. His paintings have an amorphous quality in which any given brushstroke can be read as abstract or image bearing becoming reliant on the viewer for the construction of pictorial meaning. These ‘potential’ and enigmatic images are established in the orbit of the artist and examine the subjective nature of seeing and the emotional response of visual indeterminacy.

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Although much of Sam’s imagery is sourced from newspapers, magazines and his own personal recollections, Crystalise Borders forms a cerebral aesthetic of fragmentation where interiors dissolve into body parts, rendering these appropriated pictorial narratives as almost indistinguishable. Sam suppresses and compresses traces of recognizable images, denying precise identification and holding the viewing in an in-between state of visual uncertainty.

Characterised by a kaleidoscopic palette, energetic compositions and loose brushwork, Sam has represented multiplicities of shattered figures lying down, dancing, commuting, stretching and performing as a team. There is a thematic consistency in these works of anonymous figures celebrating their own everyday existence. With no buildings or recognisable monuments, these works are not held down by geographic location and depict a utopia where drudgery and monotonous action are evaporated from everyday life.

Sam is a Melbourne based artist. He graduated from Monash University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours). On graduating, Sam was awarded the Arc One Gallery/Monash Prize, which was added to his other accolades, including a Commonwealth Education Scholarship, the Tolarno Hotel Painting Prize and the Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Society, Yarra Inc Award. Sam’s career as an artist is developing in an impressive trajectory, and his inclusion in a number of group exhibitions and private collections is testament to this.

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