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Sam Vernon
Brooklyn, NY
Neighborhood: Bedford-Stuyvesant



ARTIST STATEMENT:

Images derived out of historical fiction. A congregation of bodies dancing, sleeping, and weeping haunt my dreams. Clusters and mounds of images resembling a dark cloud form a cheerful celebration of suffering. Female figures struggle and fight the elements in dust, sandstorms, wind, and water. Leaves of willow trees swaying, rivers, forests, fields, and the spirit of a monochromatic, archetypal southern landscape. Ghosts represent unknown ancestors in symbolic form and quilt-like patterns collapse into lines and chaos.

The drawings are transformed through a Xerox process and the multiples are re-configured into new collages. By means of the machine, lines are re-interpreted as the blackest-black against the whitest-white of the page. Text-inspired polar opposition illustrates poverty and privilege, womanhood and sexism, blackness and white supremacy. The aesthetic yields to the subject.

Then, I had a dream. A dark throng, a cave-like mass, made out of the drawings: paper architecture. How Ghosts Sleep, the installation materialized. Fear, anxiety and memory translated on flapping sheets. Ghosts congeal and bodies form in dark corners and hang about whispering until the inflection of their voices can be heard among the living.

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  • Free!
    2008

  • ghost pattern inverted
    2010

  • swimming pool
    2008

  • ecstasy
    2009

  • Untitled

  • ghost pattern
    2009

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    2010

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  • woman with a snake
    2010

  • Untitled

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  • how ghosts sleep (studio)
    2009

  • how ghosts sleep (haunted house)
    2009

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