SAMORE SAM

NY, NY , UNITED STATES [1963]

Long considered one of the pioneers of large-scale conceptual photography in the 1980's, Samore is well known for his earlier series of photographic work such as "Allegories of Beauty (Incomplete)" and "Situations".Max Henry writes: Cinema and sculptural tableau underscore the photographic and filmic works of Sam Samore. Narratives with enigmatic plot linesbheighten the psychological pull of the actors' performances. 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.In previous work, Samore has explored the relation of cinema to painting via a monochrome coloration, by way of the apparatus of the narrative and the post-modern discourse about framing of action, character development, and the suspension of belief. Less about cinema and more about painting, these new works emanate a sense of mystery. The posing actors assume the aura of the mask, almost Kabuki-like. As in Ingmar Bergman's film "Persona", here Samore plays with the fragmentation of the self as an alternative means of description, asking questions: How do we present ourselves to the world and each other? And, no matter how close we are in proximity to others – psychologically, geographically, and physically – do we still live our lives alone? As viewers, we cannot help but want to impose a narrative in these images, but they eschew storytelling. Instead, this work reveals Samore's recent interest in interrogating the multiplicity of genders: the assigning of roles, norms, behavior patterns, and structures of power relations. Appearances are deceiving, and in these works, we are confronted with our private projections about desire, obsession, fantasy.