SAMANTHA FIELDS

BIO
STATEMENT
PRESS

American Dreaming 2020

My creative and intellectual interests surround disaster. In the past, my paintings have dealt with a range of disaster: familial, natural, man-made, and political. The common thread in my work is the use of landscape as a metaphor for the stories I wish to tell.

The landscapes that surround us help define a sense of self in relation to the world around us. Within the context of the sublime, visages of epic landscapes help us locate ourselves not just within a specific place, but within all of creation. We speak of the landscape as an aesthetic thing, but also as a metaphor for a situation: for instance, the political landscape.

By combining fictional (constructed) landscapes with digital images culled from dynamic marketing campaigns and apps, my most current paintings depict "scapes" that exist somewhere between destruction and celebration. Using painted pixelization, digital "flair", and ambiguous digital space, I examine the relationship between documentary photography, digital manipulation, and the history of landscape painting to examine our current political situation and the death of the American Dream...itself a carefully construction fiction. While half of our nation celebrates, the other have is mired in despair, this dissonance is present in all of my current work.

My process involves using thin mists of acrylic paint sprayed onto a super smooth canvas. I paint atmosphere with atmosphere, it takes hundreds of layers to create the paintings, which while photographic, deny the accuracy of that medium upon closer inspection.  They are only photographic from a far, close inspection delivers a more ephemeral relationship to my source images.

My paintings are dramatic and sublime, but deny the hand of the artist. I am not interested in the drama of paint itself, or the documentary nature of the photographs I work from, rather, I seek to find a middle ground that presents the viewer with images that are mysteriously made so that the emphasis is on the image itself, not the physicality of process.