“Visceral Fluidity”: Sublime Underwater Portraits By Samantha French

Born and raised in north central Minnesota, Samantha French graduated from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2005. French’s current body of work explores the idea of escape, the tranquility and nostalgia for the lazy summer days of her childhood.

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The series is inspired by Samantha’s own reflections and memories of her childhood summers spent in the lakes of Northern Minnesota. French actively exhibits her paintings and is included in many private and public collections throughout the country while her work has garnered extensive international and national press. She is a full-time painter and keeps a studio in Brooklyn, New York.

“My current body of work is focused on swimmers underwater and above. Using vague yet consuming memories from my childhood summers spent immersed in the tepid lakes of northern Minnesota, I attempt to recreate the quiet tranquility of water and nature; of days spent sinking and floating, still and peaceful. These paintings are a link to my home and continual search for the feeling of the sun on my face and warm summer days at the lake. They are my escape, a subtle reprieve from the day-to-day. At the same time, I am drawn to an idealistic time before my own, where swim caps and wool swimsuits were commonplace. This combination of memory, observation and photography has allowed me to preserve the transitory qualities of water and remembrance.”

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