Paloma Negra by Samuel Jan
For the past eight months I have had the pleasure of working with emerging artist Samuel Jan. In my work I encounter an exciting array of artists who have a varying degree of skill in their chosen field. With the development and growth of abstract art in the past century, technical skills such as shadowing, perspective, depth of field and
realistic portrayal have taken a back seat. This is not to say that abstract art does not require its own set of skills. I’m known for my admiration of painters who create a series of seemingly inconsequential marks and yet the result is something both beautiful and moving. That type of art requires a certain level of looseness and fluidity, which I do not possess!
That being said, I think there is something remarkable about the sheer talent of artists like Samuel Jan. His ability to render humans and animals with such clarity and realism is nothing short of sheer genius. Jan has a secret penchant for shadow boxes and is equally talented with a paintbrush – but today I want to share with you his exquisite charcoal works.
My favourite aspect about Jan’s artwork is the slight sense of eeriness and surrealism. In The Doorman, a little girl beneath an umbrella encounters a foreboding but gentle rhinoceros. The situation seems odd, but somehow delightful in its absurdity. In this piece, as in Paloma Negra (at top), the artist creates an ease and a connection between humans and their animal counterparts.
In the following series of drawings entitled “Victoria Stories,” Jan again depicts a peculiar cross between humans and animals – this time the humans wear startlingly realistic masks made of fur, whiskers and antlers.
Samuel, who is originally from Taipei, claims to be a loner but believes that his art and his imagination are a great comfort to him. In that sense he is a stereotypical artist – his appearance and quiet demeanor never gives away his astounding creativity and talent.