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Sam Falls - Bartlett Pears and Melon, 2011. Courtesy of American Contemporary and International Art Objects.

Sam Falls

My images are not only investigating the medium's potential as an art form, but also continue exploring photography’s capacity for representation and challenging its veracity. The first prints I painted on were photographs of coloured paper collaged on the studio wall, flat, and then photographed with a large format camera. The subject matter of coloured paper was chosen because the images were about colour and printed back to paper, so the subject becomes the form. In these works, there are three stages of production, which produce the final object: the film photograph, Photoshop painting, and then painting on the image in the studio. The photographic quality of the picture as a single instant is absolved and its creative life is extended over time as an object that relies on the interaction of these different mediums. This work has grown and permuted over time to challenge both photography and painting further, rather than just engage them. Now, with the fruit and tire pieces, I am photographing an object and, using it not only to dictate the Photoshop work and brush strokes but also using the object itself to paint on its own image. The question this raises, beyond specific medium's ability to represent an object or idea, is the question of perception itself and how we relate today to photography and painting. What is a more honest representation of a pear? A photograph where the pear is 3 times larger than real life and flattened out to two dimensions? Or an actual imprint made from the fruit itself with paint where positive and negative space outlines the cross section of the fruit? When I look at these pieces, that question actually holds ground and is hard to answer – I’m used to seeing any image of anything at any size but rarely do I see a rubbing or direct print of something on paper or canvas. That said, the painted prints all hold a high veracity, feel more “true” in a way in terms of representation, and make me feel somewhat distrustful of the photographic. It points out a sense of instinctual distrust I believe humans have for mass production – the uncanny valley.

Sam Falls


Sam Falls

Courtesy of the artist.

Sam Falls

Born in 1984 in San Diego.

Lives and works in Los Angeles.

Sam Falls received his BA from Reed College in 2007 and MFA from ICP-Bard in 2010. Falls’ work has been exhibited in the US and abroad, including solo exhibitions at China Art Objects (Los Angeles), American Contemporary (New York), West Street Gallery (New York), M+B (Los Angeles), Higher Pictures (New York), Fotografiska (Stockholm) and China Art Objects (Los Angeles). His most recent monographs include Val Verde (Karma, 2011), Paint Paper Palms (Dashwood Books, 2011) and Visible Library (Lay Flat, 2011). Falls is the 2010 recipient of the Tierney Fellowship and his work has been written about in Modern Painters, ARTFORUM, Frieze and Aperture.

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