Samantha Simpson Artwork Info

About the Saga Series

The Saga project started in response to my reading of the long lines of images that wrapped around Trajan’s Column. They seemed to speak of the small and daily pains of a forgotten war; like a message from one civilization from another. I was interested in the contradiction between the grandiosity of the monument and the personal stories that were carved around it.

This group of huge watercolors reflects my sense of a shifting, imperiled world after the election of Donald Trump: the narratives in the paintings are my way of working through the ways that I and the people around me responded to the increased sense of threat that some of us experienced.

The paintings locate small individuals in a complicated metaphorical world that is populated by predators and prey, families and individuals as well as references to known political figures.

It is an imperiled, complex landscape. Using a theatrically natural world allows me to talk about social issues in a way that deflects resistance. The families in the pieces battle businessmen-bugs, borders and walls and mechanized and natural force, but they regroup and reach out to each other to survive.

The complexity allows me to show several competing ways of responding to imbalances in power.

An artist friend once told me I was making the biggest miniatures she’d ever seen, and this isn’t far off. The paintings hang end to end and are read as much as they are seen. Characters move through the paintings from left to right, from painting to painting. This series can be approached as a giant, flat graphic novel, but they also draw on the visual language of 14th century prints and painterly abstraction. The story is complicated and multilayered, but it’s about us, and me, and the last five years.

For questions or info contact
sam at samanthasimpson dot com