Sam Melser

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I’ve been painting for many years. It’s a practice I feel a little guilty about because I know how old fashioned it is in the eyes of progress leaning art historians - especially oil on canvas - my preferred technique. I discovered painting when I was a naughty little kid rummaging through some out-of-bounds cupboards at our old place in Perry St, Masterton (Aotearoa/New Zealand). Mum had a plastic bag full of old shitty Chinese oil paints and that was that - with those few early experiments I felt a type of exhilaration I wanted to explore further. This attraction to the revealed image, one that emerges by itself from its own intentionality (The Shroud of Turin), was to remain with me. I also did quite a lot of Black and White photography in the Dark Room when I was younger and here again, what excited me most  was the emergence of the image, something that I did not fully control.    

Painting used to be something “serious” for me but now I try to be a lot more playful with it and use it as much as a stage, background or landscape for my figures / characters / petrifications to play in, than as a thing in itself for itself. It has now become but an element - admittedly central - in a larger organic installation practice.   

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