Long considered one of the pioneers of large-scale conceptual photography in the 1980’s, Sam Samore is well known for his earlier series of photographic work such as “Allegories of Beauty (Incomplete)” and “Situations”.
He developed an interest in fairy tales when he was small. “My mom and dad told me lots of stories,” Samore says. His work as a photographer and as a writer requires him to mine both conscious and subconscious experience, experiences as Samore puts it, that “might relate to love, or death, or beauty.” Using a technique called “cinemascope,” Samore tells fractured, poetic narratives that often defy and change one’s expectations of a fairy tale. laying the role of both actor and director, Samore stages his own death in various ways—strangled with a telephone cord, asphyxiated, overdosed—and examines a macabre psychology in works that are both cinematic and documentary.Often framed in classical compositions the new work’s saturated color has a fauvist intensity while capturing a painterly effect: Caravaggio’s intense chiaroscuro contrasts combined with Godard’s filmic use of the digital in his later work allows Samore to create rich “analog” contrasts.
Samore has concentrated on the relation of cinema to painting via a monochrome palette, by way of narration, the framing of action, character development and the suspension of disbelief. Less about cinema and more about painting, some of his new pictures are imbued with vivid coloration, emanate a sense of detachment and silence. Sometimes the characters charge through the picture plane with kinetic agitation, and in other images there is an arrangement of interior repose. As in Ingmar Bergman’s film Persona, Samore examines the discontinuity of the self, as it might relate to the face as a mask.
This artist has been exhibiting his work for the past forty years. Prominent monographic exhibitions have been held at De Appel in Amsterdam, P.S.1 MoMA in New York, Casino Luxembourg, and the Kunsthalle Zürich. Samore participated in the 46th Venice Biennale, the Istanbul Bienniale 2007, and the Tirana Biennale 2005.