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Home FEATURES Studio Visits Studio Visit: Sam Flores

Studio Visit: Sam Flores
Written by Andreas Trolf   
Tuesday, 08 May 2007 06:11
We stopped by his studio before his show that opens May 12 at The Lab 101 in Los Angeles.

By Trolf and Trippe

John and I went to visit Sam Flores’s studio the other day. It’s in that weird, indefinite area in San Francisco that maybe isn’t quite the Tenderloin and isn’t quite Nob Hill. I think maybe it’s called the Tender Nob? Is that gross? Maybe it is. Sam’s studio is pretty unsavory, so maybe the gross sounding name of the neighborhood is sort of apt.

He’s got a rad space on the ground floor of the building he lives in, and when we visited Sam was busy preparing for an upcoming show at Lab 101 in LA. The show opens on the 12th and it’s kind of geared towards little kids, which seems oddly fitting since many of Sam’s paintings embrace this aesthetic of child-like fantasy land wonder and are populated by a litany of ectomorphs draped in stuffed animal pelts.

Sam’s been busy painting a series of wooden cutouts of his trademark figures and assembling it all into fantastical bedroom creations for the privileged children of creative types. Oddly enough, all the children in Sam’s work seem to be frowning. Or maybe they’re grimacing. They look sad or confused. Sam was quick to point this out to us and wondered whether it was subconscious. I just assumed it was part of the aesthetic—how Sam’s work is footed halfways in this morass of childhood fantasy and halfways in this sort of perpetual adolescence/cusp of adulthood gray area that so many of us seem to find ourselves stuck in. I mean, how many of us are as old as our parents were when they had kids? How many of us have nowhere near that level of responsibility? That childhood/adulthood dichotomy has got to be confusing (at least it is for me), and so I imagine it would manifest itself in Sam’s paintings, which seem to exist at the intersection of this confusion. Either way, I like the paintings.

The walls are covered with spent paper outlines that mirror the cutouts, and the floor is lined with crate after crate of paint cans and stacks of reference books. It’s a comfortable space, complete with couch and tv and a separate computer/office space in the back. Back to what I wrote earlier, though, the part about Sam’s studio being somewhat unsavory. Well, the thing about that is that there’s this weird crawlspace under the stairs. Sam uses it for storage, but that’s not the unsavory part. The thing about this crawl space is that it’s closed off from the rest of the studio by a thick steel door with padlocks and latches. The floor of the crawlspace has these odd tracks and runners installed. And oh yeah, there’s a window in the steel door made of inch-thick bulletproof glass. Sam had no idea what the previous occupants of his space could possibly have used the room for. John and I immediately agreed that the crawlspace was some sort of torture chamber or dungeon. Fucking bulletproof glass inside? Padlocks? The whole thing had bad vibes written all over it.

Maybe Sam’s paintings are sad because he paints them in a torture chamber. Either way, the studio creeped me out something wicked. No amount of stuffed animal costumes can erase the bad vibes of years worth of torture and virgin sacrifice that’s sure to have taken place there.

Make sure to go check out Sam’s show if you’re down in L.A. Buy some of his paintings so he can afford to move to a non-haunted studio.

For more on Sam, check his blog and his website.

& If near LA on Saturday May 12th, check out Sam's solo show - Kid N' Play @The Lab 101. {moscomment}

Alison Blickle @NYC's Kravets Wehby Gallery

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Peter Gronquist @The Shooting Gallery

If you like guns and boobs, head on over to the Shooting Gallery; just don't expect the work to be all cheap ploys and hot chicks. With Make Stuff by Peter Gronquist (Portland) in the main space and Morgan Slade's Snake in the Eagle's Shadow in the project space, there is plenty spectacle to be had, but if you look just beyond it, you might actually get something out of the shows.


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contact FF

Alexis Anne Mackenzie - 2/28
Wednesday, 25 February 2015 10:21

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a_m


 

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lead

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17_ms

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charlie

 

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###########
 

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park_life

 

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//////////
Wednesday, 16 June 2010 17:39


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ABOUT HEADLANDS
Headlands Center for the Arts provides an unparalleled environment for the creative process and the development of new work and ideas. Through a range of programs for artists and the public, we offer opportunities for reflection, dialogue, and exchange that build understanding and appreciation for the role of art in society.

headlands

 

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Alison Blickle @NYC's Kravets Wehby Gallery

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Interview w/ Kevin Earl Taylor

We haven't been featuring many interviews as of late. Let's change that up as we check in with a few local San Francisco artists like Kevin Earl Taylor here whom we studio visited back in 2009 (PHOTOS & VIDEO). It's been awhile, Kevin...


Peter Gronquist @The Shooting Gallery

If you like guns and boobs, head on over to the Shooting Gallery; just don't expect the work to be all cheap ploys and hot chicks. With Make Stuff by Peter Gronquist (Portland) in the main space and Morgan Slade's Snake in the Eagle's Shadow in the project space, there is plenty spectacle to be had, but if you look just beyond it, you might actually get something out of the shows.


Jay Bo at Hamburg's Circle Culture

Berlin based Jay Bo recently held a solo show at Hamburg's Circle Culture featuring some of his most recent paintings. We lvoe his work.


NYCHOS @Fifty24SF

Fifty24SF opened Street Anatomy, a new solo show by Austrian artist Nychos a week ago last Friday night. He's been steadily filling our city with murals over the last year, with one downtown on Geary St. last summer, and new ones both in the Haight and in Oakland within the last few weeks, but it was really great to see his work up close and in such detail.


Gator Skater +video

Nate Milton emailed over this great short Gator Skater which is a follow-up to his Dog Skateboard he emailed to us back in 2011... Any relation to this Gator Skater?


Ferris Plock Online Show Now Online as of April 25th

5 new wonderful large-scale paintings on wood panel are available. visit: www.ffdg.net


ClipODay II: Needles & Pens 11 Years!!

Congrats on our buddies at Needles and Pens on being open and rad for 11 years now. Mission Local did this little short video featuring Breezy giving a little heads up on what Needles and Pens is all about.


BANDES DE PUB / STRIP BOX

In a filmmaker's thinking, we wish more videos were done in this style. Too much editing and music with a lacking in actual content. Just because you can doesn't mean you should.


AJ Fosik in Tokyo at The Hellion Gallery

Matt Wagner recently emailed over some photos from The Hellion Gallery in Tokyo, who recently put together a show with AJ Fosik (Portland) called Beast From a Foreign Land. The gallery gave twelve of Fosik's sculptures to twelve Japanese artists (including Hiro Kurata who is currently showing in our group show Salt the Skies) to paint, burn, or build upon.


Ferris Plock - Online Show, April 25th

FFDG is pleased to announce an exclusive online show with San Francisco based Ferris Plock opening on Friday, April 25th (12pm Pacific Time) featuring 5 new medium sized acrylic paintings on wood.


GOLD BLOOD, MAGIC WEIRDOS

Backwoods Gallery in Melbourne played host to a huge group exhibition a couple of weeks back, with "Gold Blood, Magic Weirdos" Curated by Melbourne artist Sean Morris. Gold Blood brought together 25 talented painters, illustrators and comic artists from Australia, the US, Singapore, England, France and Spain - and marked the end of the Magic Weirdos trilogy, following shows in Perth in 2012 and London in 2013.


Jeremy Fish at LA's Mark Moore Gallery

San Francisco based Fecal Pal Jeremy Fish opened his latest solo show Hunting Trophies at LA's Mark Moore Gallery last week to massive crowds and cabin walls lined with imagery pertaining to modern conquest and obsession.


John Felix Arnold III on the Road to NYC

Well, John Felix Arnold III is at it again. This time, he and Carolyn LeBourgios packed an entire show into the back of a Prius and drove across the country to install it at Superchief Gallery in NYC. I met with him last week as he told me about the trip over delicious burritos at Taqueria Cancun (which is right across the street from FFDG and serves what I think is the best burrito in the city) as the self proclaimed "Only overweight artist in the game" spilled all the details.


FRENCH in Melbourne

London based illustrator FRENCH recently held a show of new works at the Melbourne based Mild Manners


Henry Gunderson at Ever Gold, SF

Ever Gold opened a new solo show by NYC based Henry Gunderson a couple Saturday nights ago and it was literally packed. So packed I couldn't actually see most of the art - but a big crowd doesn't seem like a problem. I got a good laugh at what I would call the 'cock climbing wall' as it was one of the few pieces I could see over the crowd. I haven't gotten a chance to go back and check it all out again, but I'm definitely going to as the paintings that I could get a peek at were really high quality and intruiguing. You should do the same.


Mario Wagner @Hashimoto

Mario Wagner (Berkeley) opened his new solo show A Glow that Transfers Creativity last Saturday night at Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco.


Serge Gay Jr. @Spoke Art

The paintings in the show are each influenced by a musician, ranging from Freddy Mercury, to Madonna, to A Tribe Called Quest and they are so stylistically consistent with each musician's persona that they read as a cohesive body of work with incredible variation. If you told me they were each painted by a different person, I would not hesitate to believe you and it's really great to see a solo show with so much variety. The show is fun, poppy, very well done, and absolutely worth a look and maybe even a listen.


NYCHOS Mural on Ashbury and Haight

NYCHOS completed this great new mural on the corner of Haight and Ashbury in San Francisco on Tuesday. Looks Amazing.


Sun Milk in Vienna

With rising rent in SF and knowing mostly other young artists without capitol, I desired a way to live rent free, have a space to do my craft, and get to see more of the world. Inspired by the many historical artists who have longed similar longings I discovered the beauty of artist residencies. Lilo runs Adhoc Collective in Vienna which not only has a fully equipped artists creative studio, but an indoor halfpipe, and private artist quarters. It was like a modern day castle or skate cathedral. It exists in almost a utopic state, totally free to those that apply and come with a real passion for both art and skateboarding


"How To Lose Yourself Completely" by Bryan Schnelle

I just wanted to share with you a piece I recently finished which took me 4 years to complete. Titled "How To Lose Yourself Completely (The September Issue)", it consists of a copy of the September 2007 issue of Vogue magazine (the issue they made the documentary about) with all faces masked with a sharpie, and everything else entirely whited out. 840 pages of fun. -Bryan Schnelle


Tyler Bewley ~ Recent Works

Some great work from San Francisco based Tyler Bewley.


Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery

While walking our way across San Francisco on Saturday we swung through the opening receptions for Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery in the Mission.


Jeremy Fish Solo Show in Los Angeles

Jeremy Fish opens Hunting Trophies tonight, Saturday April 5th, at the Los Angeles based Mark Moore Gallery. The show features new work from Fish inside the "hunting lodge" where viewers climb inside the head of the hunter and explore the history of all the animals he's killed.


The Albatross and the Shipping Container

Beautiful piece entitled "The Albatross and the Shipping Container", Ink on Paper, Mounted to Panel, 47" Diameter, by San Francisco based Martin Machado now on display at FFDG. Stop in Saturday (1-6pm) to view the group show "Salt the Skies" now running through April 19th. 2277 Mission St. at 19th.


The Marsh Barge - Traveling the Mississippi River from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico

For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to quit my job, move out of my house, leave everything and travel again. So on August 21, 2013 I pushed a canoe packed full of gear into the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Lake Itasca, Minnesota, along with four of my best friends. Exactly 100 days later, I arrived at a marina near the Gulf of Mexico in a sailboat.


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