Antonio Samo

A Life of One’s Own



Exhibition Views


In his second solo show at Set Espai d’Art, Antonio Samo (Valencia, 1984) returns with a series of wood sculptures and photographs that recreate everyday situations. The smooth surfaces of raw wood, so characteristic of Samo’s works, are combined, for the first time, with the use of photography as a two-dimensional complement to his scenographies. These groups in which the human figure, the still life and the landscape are combined, speak to us about our own lives, making the viewer identify with these so very close objects and with the representation of the life of these contemporary subjects.

Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing? Richard Hamilton asked himself this in 1956, and in response he offered us a series of consumer objects and bodies, images of the desire of a growing middle class emerging from the harsh post-world war years. Samo shows us his own collection of desirable objects: sneakers, creams, clothing, a cap, decorative plants and people, all of this extracted from the daily parade that crosses our screens through applications that bring us closer to these unreal worlds.

The objects and figures in front of us are pure idealizations of the products that we consume every day and that represent a healthy, satisfying and complete lifestyle, an image of happiness. These sculptural groups, accompanied by photographs that act as a backdrop, are the scenographies of our lives. This atrezzo accompanies us in a kind of baroque theater, full of symbols and references to our lives. Like a contemporary vanitas, Antonio Samo’s sculptures remind us that those skin care creams will not make us stop aging, this beautiful plant will one day wither, the folded, soft and clean socks will end up getting holes and at some point we will lose our favorite cap. Only in these ideal objects placed in the gallery does the illusion of eternity remain, with the photographic backgrounds which frame that unreality.

Through the eyes of the artist we see the stagecraft and mechanisms of our theater of objects and images that keep us stunned in the continuous illusion of our particular Truman Show. Seeing the materiality of the wood that shapes his sculptures awakens us from sleep. The sanded and polished grain, the flat colors applied in very thin layers of paint, the very simple shapes of these pieces explain, through minimalist exaggeration, how the white, bright, very clean images which cross our Instagram profile operate.

Daniel Silvo. Curator

Antonio Samo has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Polytechnic University of Valencia in 2008 and a Master in Artistic Production in 2013 from the same university. He expanded his knowledge of sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Carrara, Italy. At an international level, he has exhibited his work in group exhibitions such as Dire, Fare, Creare (Marina di Carrara, Italy) or the Bienal degli studenti of the Carrara Academy of Fine Arts. In addition, he has participated in group exhibitions at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts, the Zepter Gallery, the Oronsko Sculpture Symposium, the University of Warsaw and the Rudnik nad Sanem Sculpture Symposium. In Mexico, he participated in Graphic Games (2012) at the UNAM in Mexico City and in the Investigation of early stimulation through the illustration of graphic work: the functionality of illustrative prints in the book, organized by the Museum of Colonial Art in Taxco.

He has participated in artistic residencies in Barcelona (Taller BDN, 2019-20), Antwerp (Studio Star, 2017), Santiago de Compostela (Encontró de Artistas Novos, 2016) and Warsaw (Fine Arts Academy, 2008-2010). Since 2016, he has collaborated with Set Espai d ’Art gallery, participating in several editions of the JustMAD and Estampa fairs and exhibiting individually and collectively at the gallery.

His work is part of collections such as the Bassat Collection in Barcelona, FCDP (Las Palmas), Scott Moguer (NY) or the National Engraving Archive in the city of Gargallo (Italy), as well as many other private collections nationwide and internationally.

“A Life of One’s Own”. Full text by Daniel Silvo written for the occassion of the exhibition