Triada Samaras

Artist Statement

I am a New England born, Greek-American who has family members living on both sides of the Atlantic. I have lived and worked in Brooklyn, New York for many years.  I am an interdisciplinary artist whose art practice investigates personal and global issues: Body, Identity, House/Home, Individual and Collective Voice,
 Intuition, Consciousness, Evolution, Transmutation, Transformation.

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.
As an interdisciplinary artist I have directed my creativity to a number of disparate but undivided activities that include (but are not limited to):  Studio Art, Poetry, Writings, Art Education and Art Activism. I spend time engaged in public art activities as well as solitary studio work. I have been influenced by many other creatives including Mikis Theodorakis, Nikos Kazantzakis, Kavafy, El Greco, German Expressionists, Neo-Expressionism, Byzantine Icons, Goya, Glenn Ligon, Sappho, Maya Angelou, Sylvia Plath,  Rick Benjamin, Gale P. Jackson, and numerous Feminist Artists.

My paintings, drawings, sculptures, poems, and art activist works are often 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 concerned with the transformative nature of art:  the ability art making has to transcend human experience and creatively shape it anew and to move it to a new and higher plane. 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.

Throughout my earlier life I experienced a variety of internal nightmares. I had no words for these experiences, nor any ability to explain logically this state of inner anguish to anyone including myself.  The emotional force of these trials has always played an enormous role in my art making and creative work.

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. Through art I can make the invisible visible and I can actualize my experiences. anew and beyond.

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 art work until I have begun to use the art medium.  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 art material whether it be paint, words, or digital media. I rely on inner dialogues and guidance for the answers to so many of my 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 art work 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 myself and often for others as well.

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.

Triada Samaras M.A., M.F.A.

July 2017