World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 202 - Sam Andrea
World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 202 -Sam Andrea
Sam Andrea works in a large studio in the artists' complex NieuwenMeer at the Oude Haagseweg on the outskirts of Amsterdam. Schiphol is not far away. He shares the studio with Frans Franciscus who currently resides elsewhere for several months as artist-in-residence.
The studio is actually from Frans Franciscus. Sam: "He is considerably older than me, almost 60. He has been a kind of teacher. In essence, he is a painter, but later he also started making photographs and now he also makes ceramics." He takes me to the back of the studio and I see big torsos of men with beards and busts of women. "Occasionally we work here with the two of us, that's cozy."
The roof window gives beautiful and abundant light. Behind and in front are large plants, including a finger plant and a ficus. At the bottom of a table I see thick books about artists like John Currin, Girodet, Neo Rauch ('makes inspirational work') and Hockney ('also beautiful'). On the easle a work in progress, next to it a table with dozens of paint tubes. At the painting a young lady who is lying back on a wide bed. "An ex of me who still haunts my head. I started working during a 'live' session. I finish it based on my memory. "
Against the wall there are large rolled up works that need to be completed. Sam, with an appropriate red-light blue sweater with a speck of brown in it: "I intend to do that in Germany in lab Kalkhorst, a castle near Hamburg. Aldo van den Broek lives and works there. There I have lots of space."
There are more works hanging on the wall, some are ready, a self-portrait, his penis, others still in progress, a body of a woman, a man and a woman and in the middle a kind of angel. "I am not sure whether I will continue this painting. I leave it for a while. If I find it interesting afterwards, I will continue." Then a painting of a few chairs, some of which are turned upside down. "We - Aldo and I- got pretty drunken and then we have thrown all the furniture out of the window." Does he regret it afterwards? "No, I liked it. I do not regret things so quickly."
I saw Sam Andrea for the first time at the presentation of the Piket Awards in The Hague. The Piket Award is an incentive prize for young artists in the field of theater, dance and painting. Sam belonged to the three selected artists for the painting prize. In a video that was shown Sam told about his fight with the white canvas. The fight is in his head and on the canvas. "I have nightmares about white canvases." He makes a lot of things, the images are pretty autobiographical and have universal features. Many people, dark themes, with a flower he tries to keep it livable, he says in the video. "A painter's beast" according to the jury members.
The animal urge of man
What exactly is his theme? Sam: "People, being human, the human experience. Especially the animal urge of man. That has a certain kind of romance for me. Then you automatically end up at the fringes of society." There are numerous reasons why he came to this. "In the first place it has always been a theme in painting, but also in poetry, in the film and in the other arts. In addition, I want to make connections with the human entity at a time when algorithms and computer programs take over all kinds of, often essential, elements of life. It's important that I try to stay with the human with paint."
Does he have a key work? He has. It is called 'Anthropocene', a work of 2 x 3 meters, made in 2016. "It is about the human full of lust, an aggressive animal. That idea had been in my mind for many years. It is unconsciously always in my work. When I made this work, I realized what I was doing."
Sam Andrea comes from a real artist family. Pat Andrea is his back-uncle, Kees Andrea, who was involved in the Free Academy (Vrije Academie), is his great-grandfather. "There is a lot of art in the family. The children of Pat, Mateo and Azul, are also active in art. But actually everyone is born as an artist. Every child learns by picking up a brush to express his or her feelings. I keep doing it steadily and I also like it. It has always been in me. "
He went to the Royal Academy in The Hague because it was the last opportunity to receive student grants. "Before that, I just fooled around. I took that opportunity and did not regret it afterwards. It was tough, I had a fight with teachers, but I am grateful for my time there. Especially looking together with fellow students in the same direction, making art together."
He has already exhibited quite a bit, including at Galerie Fleur & Wouter, and there are many plans ahead. At Vriend van Bavink he got a solo exhibition and he was present at This Art Fair at the Beurs van Berlage. There is a plan to set up a painter's guild in Germany, 'the painters of the square table', and even there is the plan to participate in a group exhibition in LA (America).
The painter’s view
Finally, what is his philosophy, in so far as this was not clear? "I want to bring my canvases to the public also to underline the importance of the old art form. The audience can learn something from the painter's view. A time seems coming in which the entire humanism is crumbling with the dumbering man and the smarter computer. Everything changes and there is certainly not everything wrong with that, but I think the authenticity of the individual is important and I want to uphold it with painting. "