ARTIST STATEMENT: Triada Samaras
I am an interdisciplinary artist of Greek ancestry whose art practice investigates: human identity, human body, human voice, house/home, and geography. As a Greek-American artist, the Greek genos has had an enormous impact on my life and art, including the combined influences of New Hellenism, Byzantinism, and the lively, independent spirit of Democracy. This is unmistakable in my art practice, as I shift from one home to another, then back again.
My paintings, drawings and sculptures are largely auto-biographical. Through familiar representations such as: house, home and the body I explore my human feelings, thoughts, memories, perceptions and experiences. However, these recognizable images are almost always metaphors.
As an artist, I am interested in the transformative nature of art: the ability artmaking has to transcend human experience and creatively shape it anew. I believe being human is often traumatic. By this I mean shocking, startling, unpredictable and even devastating. I know for myself this has always been true.
Beginning my artwork from this kind of forceful human emotion I slowly and deliberately move to a new place with it artistically, traveling far beyond it using the formal elements of art such as line and texture, value and form. I can do this because I have learned to release this emotional force to a greater realm, one that is imaginary and mysterious and even more powerful.
Often I might begin an art work with a line from a poem I have written. The words are tangible and visible in my mind but I have no pre-formulated plan for the painting until I have begun to use the paint. I am not interested in the re-creation of my human experience per se. Rather I wish to use this powerful emotional energy as a catalyst that drives my creative process forward in the direction of something new.
During the artistic process, I work largely by instinct with the art materials at hand. I have no pre-formulated plan for the painting until I have begun to use the paint. I rely on inner dialogues and guidance for the answers to so many pressing artistic questions about forms, colors, gestures, and words. I try to move out of my own way and I never feel the need to know what a finished piece will look like.
The final artwork is a push and pull between my lived human life and my experience as an artist with the materials and the reality of these materials as physical matters in actual space. Thus, my artwork begins in a literal place in my mind but ends far away from that place. The final outcome is usually a surprise.
For me the art studio is a place of magic and a place of transformation where what has been becomes what might have been or what might still be or a host of other possibilities. I enjoy being catapulted beyond what I know and I enjoy being transformed.
It is my hope that the viewer will also be able to sense, feel, or perceive the transformative movement that is at the heart of my artwork viscerally. It is my hope that the viewer will encounter the works in this way.