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29 mei 2020 | Nieuws

The Piket Art Prizes in times of corona (15): Sam Andrea

Until 1 June theatremakers, actors, artists and dancers are forced to sit at home. As part of the official measures aimed at keeping the spread of the coronavirus under control, exhibitions are off and performances have been cancelled. What do these measures mean for Piket Art Prizes’ young artists? Part 15: Sam Andrea.

Impact of the measures

Sam Andrea, who was nominated in the Painting category in 2018, had lots of plans that all went on the backburner. He had planned to go to Thailand with a Young Talent grant from the Mondriaan Fund in order to gain creative inspiration from taking part in Muay Thai contests. In addition, there were plans to travel to the US. “There was this idea for a road trip with photographer Dennis Erfman, with whom I regularly collaborate. During the trip he would take photographs of me. Our aim was to make a book.” The final destination would be the Palm Springs Art Museum, but Sam’s exhibition there has been postponed. “I hope that by that time it goes on we’ll be able to do the road trip, too,” he says. Finally, he had plans for an exhibition with Aldo van den Broek at the Institut Néerlandais in Paris, but this will have to be postponed as well. But although corona measures have turned the world in its head, Sam also expects positive things to emerge. “It’s clear that solidarity with the underprivileged is on the increase. And Amsterdam is not packed with tourists. It’s not all about money and growth. The present crisis reveals the need for change. Over the years, culture and health care budgets have been cut drastically, but at a time like this it becomes clear how important they are,” Sam says. “Everyone who’s stuck at home reads books and watches Netflix. I still sell work online. People need culture for relief, I think.”

So what now?

Sam spends a lot of time in his new studio in Haarlem. “Usually, I get my inspiration from the world around me, but now my work is more about what happens inside my head.” He counts himself lucky with the support of the Mondriaan Fund which gives him breathing space. “It’s truly a privilege. The Fund also let me know that they find it quite understandable that, for the time being, I can’t realise my plans regarding the US, Thailand and Paris.” Daily life is lot more quiet. “Painting, bit of barbecuing, drinking wine,” Sam summarises. “I’ve also created a vegetable garden.” The quiet and the fact that he has time for reflection result in more subtle work. “I don’t shrink from anything, but I paint what I think is beautiful. I’m currently working on a series of nudes, mainly of people I know well,” Sam says. “For instance a friend washing herself in a plastic tub. The classic Woman Bathing in a present-day setting.”

Plans for the future

Sam is in contact with Gallery Vriend van Bavink in Amsterdam about a solo show with the portraits he’s currently working on. “But we haven’t settled on a date yet,” Sam says. He doesn’t really mind not having exhibition after exhibition right now. “I had so many shows that my work was suffering. I can give all my time to my art now. I have decided to be a bit more selective about what I will or will not take up.”

Photo: Hessel Waalewijn