Joan Mitchell Center AIR Program

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Samantha Wall

Portland, OR
2011 MFA Grant Recipient

Artist's Statement

Critical emotions such as shame, disgust and anger are essential to forming identity, gaining agency and reinforcing difference. So often the seduction of euphoria and the ease of slipping into apathy create a homogenous landscape of human experiences. We are often encouraged to seek out our similarities and to set aside our differences but without consideration for an individual’s identity and history. However it is these nuances of humanity that reveal our commonality. In my drawings, I wield those emotions responsible for distinction, idiosyncrasy and disruption. I confront these emotions, consume and digest them. My recent work strips away the barriers we create when navigating interpersonal relationships. The drawings reveal an affective identity woven from my own emotions and that of the model. These drawings are not mere portraits of women, but revelatory reflections of an interior space.

  • Stranger, 2012, graphite and sumi ink on paper, 34 x 55 inches.

  • A Clarion Call, 2012, graphite and sumi ink on paper, 55 x 34 inches.

  • Loose, 2012, graphite, charcoal and sumi ink, 78 x 41 inches.

  • White Lady, 2012, graphite on paper, 30 x 22 inches.

  • Furies, 2012, graphite and charcoal on paper, 22 x 90 inches.

All works are copyright of the artist or artist’s estate.