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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Interview with Sam Branton







q) Introduce yourself, name, age, location.


a)My name is Sam Branton, I’m 26 and I live in Oxford, UK


q) Can you describe your path to being an artist? When did you really get into it?


a)When I was at school I drew a huge picture of a city – it was about 2 meters by 3 meters. The city was hanging over a waterfall and looked like a whale’s tale diving into the ocean. This was the first time that I saw people spending time in front of something I’d made, and bringing their friends back to see it.

After art school I was invited to exhibit in a couple of galleries in London which led to to further exhibitions in London, Stockholm and Los Angeles. These shows introduced my work to collectors who have followed my career.


q) Describe your ideals and how they manifest in your work.


a)My philosophy is to avoid being drawn into the consumer society; to learn to be content with a simple life – but at the same time, try to enjoy the finer things - Music, books, art, food, films…

My work plays homage to the classical painters but at the same time, I try to be witty and also undermine the pompous behaviour of certain classes in society by setting self-important characters in absurd situations.


q) Is music a part of your studio time? What do you listen to?


a)I’ve done four big collections of work for exhibitions and music has played a big part in influencing each collection - it adds atmosphere and mood to the images. More recently – I spend more time listening to the Howard Stern show.


q) What do you love most about where you live?


a)There’s nowhere quite like Oxford. It has the most beautiful architecture in England and has an atmosphere that is both peaceful and inspirational. I think that feeling comes through in my work.


q) How would you describe your work to someone?


a)I’ve always had a problem explaining my work but it’s a mix of Rubens with Ren and Stimpy.


q) Influences?


a)Rubens and Ren and Stimpy,.


q) Describe your process for creating new work.


a)It can take me a year to do a set of pictures and I might spend two or three months developing the idea in my mind before I begin. I start with a basic theme and allow the theme to develop as each drawing is completed. I like to let the individual pieces influence the direction of the collection so that the body of work shows a progression. This process always leads to ideas and characters that I didn’t envisage at the start.


q) What advice do you have for artists looking to show their work?


a)Getting work into a gallery can be tricky. I would encourage artists to run group shows. If you advertise them like a music event with posters, flyers and social media, an exhibition can get a lot of attention. The more artists in the show, the more people will visit.


q) Upcoming shows/ projects?


a)I’ve just started a new series of drawings based on the Batman comics. The scenes are inspired by Batman characters but placed in the renaissance period to create a new mythology.


q) Best way to spend a day off?


a)Whale watching (but this can be difficult in Oxford).


q) What are you really excited about right now?


a)I’m planning to go to Iceland – to watch whales


q) Where can people see more of your work on the internet?


a)www.sambranton.com

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