Painting Spotlight: Golden Days by Sam Spano
Tatum Dooley on September 1, 2023
"Golden Days was an experimental endeavour, part of a series in which I initially focused on abstract painting before integrating line drawings into the mix. The work began with a yellow and black palette, evoking the abstract shapes that first captured my imagination during my undergraduate studies in abstract expressionism. Yet, as the piece evolved, I found that more than this approach was needed; it lacked a certain depth I craved. Hence, I decided to incorporate my line drawings.
My inspiration also drew from recurring motifs in art history, such as the fishbowl commonly found in still-life paintings. Matisse, one of the artists I hold in high regard, particularly influenced me with his fishbowl compositions. I was captivated by how the woman's hand and head were portrayed—there's a serene, almost tranquil, quality to it. I thought this would juxtapose well with the frenetic energy of the abstract elements.
I executed the figure using an oil stick, allowing me to draw it onto the canvas. What fascinates me is the oscillation between figure and abstraction. Depending on your perspective, sometimes the figure dominates; at other times, the abstract elements come to the fore. This interplay is an avenue I intend to explore further in my work. There is much more to unearth in this dynamic balance." —Sam Spano