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ADVANCING THE ARTS ACROSS MARYLAND

SAM LACOMBE

SAM LACOMBE

Artist Work

L.A. Vista
2004-2005
Oil on canvas
24" x 36"
Hell
2012
Gouache
6 x 6 inches

Artist Information

County
Baltimore City
Artistic Category

Visual Arts

Artist Statement

My goal is to make emotional paintings. Part of that is derived from my approach to representation. I attempt to give the viewer all of the information observed in my subjects, without the presumption to edit, or take short cuts. It is not my intention to make trompe-l’oeil paintings that concentrate on superficial textural details. Instead, I idealize and attempt to organize my paintings in a highly formal matter to maximize the emotional impact. The richness of information is there to slow down the process of seeing the painting, to provide a sumptuous feast for the viewer’s eye, and as a challenge to myself. I choose subject matter for its possibility to be emotionally charged, and I look for subjects that will be challenging to paint. What I have found in urban architecture and signage is the excuse for bold colors, massive volumes, pattern, and strong light and shadow. I see in these forms the metaphor of human existence, in the same way that many of Edward Hopper’s paintings are about the rooms, not the figures in them. I often think of my paintings as court portraits, some imbued with the haughty dignity of a Velazquez, some the merry camaraderie of a Hals. Each of my paintings is designed to be like a unique piece of sculpture: self-contained, formal, physical. The subjects and forms themselves must be elevated beyond their descriptive or literal qualities to create a painting that is greater than the sum of its parts.