Core Seminar Analysis of SAM WHALEN!!
Sam Whalen: samwhalen.tumblr.com
Description: Sam carries a self portrait, strapped to her back on a piece of board looking strikingly similar to the walls of the art gallery that she visits. Beneath the piece there is a card, detailing the artwork, title, media, etc.
This was a performance piece and Sam would occasionally stand in front of the artist who was “really” supposed to exhibit at that particular gallery.
Analysis:The artwork featured on the board, is a blind contour drawing of herself with parts cut out on her face that are replaced with makeup wipes and bloody zit tissues.
The board strapped to her back looks like a combination of a cardboard lid and backpack straps.
The most distinctive features (besides it being strapped to her back) are that the makeup wipes and bloody zit tissues are included.
Interpretation: To me, the inclusion of the zit tissues and makeup wipes on the piece says “I’m human; this is what happens to my face sometimes.”
Possibly, this could also mean self esteem issues, but I won’t try to get all psychological.
The idea of the performance and strapping your art on your back to politely upstage an artist featured at a particular gallery is (and I’m sorry, this is an opinion), genius. We all wish we would’ve thought of that.
Judgement: God dammit, Sam is cool. And, she’s a sweet person who is confident. I love this piece and performance. It’s so gritty, it’s so real. It’s bold. It makes me want to know her better. And, without knowing her, I’m proud of her. Imagine that? I’m not exactly sure as to the details of Sam’s “mommy issues” as she pointed out, but I hope she knows that a lot of us are proud as parents of her clever, calculated, creativity.