You Dig Sam Roper and Other Obvious Statements
With influences from comic book art, traditional tattooing, street art, art history from Da Vinci to Banksy, and “the crap in his imagination” local artist Sam Roper is certainly a Renaissance man — at least when it comes to art. He employs a variety of media — acrylic, oils, watercolor, pen and ink, chalk, and pastels to name a few — and a DIY aesthetic into creating art on the cheap. Tossed off silkscreens, ditched floor samples, paints thrown out by disgruntled art students, discarded library books, and a desire to reclaim art as a form of expression, imagination, and protest, Sam seeks to resist consumerism and conformity in the current art process by creating even when flat ass broke.
Although the pockets may be empty, Sam has a rich imagination populated by sea creatures, coffee-empowered robots and other fanciful flights of imagination. He also has several pieces reminiscent of traditional tattoo flash and even a painting of a vase of flowers (entitled “Meh… flowers) that he classifies in the “crap in bowls” (aka still life) category. Hence the title of the show, Sh!t and Random Happenings.
Giving full disclosure here, this is his wife writing this piece, but I assure you I’m not simply a Sam mouthpiece. He would like to everyone to know that he humbly refutes any categorizing and analysis of his work. In fact, Sam has a very different perception of his artistic influences. When I told him I needed to write about his work he poo-pooed the idea. After further wifely nagging he assented and said he would discuss his artistic influences: Diet Pepsi. He told me that he was influenced by Diet Pepsi to create. I pointed out that he doesn’t drink Diet Pepsi. And he replied “exactly.”
And so I leave you with that enigmatic, Warhol-esque analysis of his own creations. Removing myself from my status of wife, I have to say that — objectively — Sam’s art is kick-ass: imaginative, bold, and most certainly random.