Location: United States
Originally from a small shore town in southern New Jersey, Samantha Fricano began pursuing her interest in the arts at an early age. She realized she wanted to study art further and enrolled in Savannah College of Art and Design pursuing her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting. She has had two internships, one at a Dimensions Gallery in Savannah, Georgia and another at a Piramidon Contemporary Art Center in Barcelona, Spain. Samantha graduated May 2009 with a BFA in Painting Cum Laude from Savannah College of Art and Desgin. She then took a year off to further develop her individual style, created a unique collection of work, and showed in cities throughout the east coast of the United States including, Strasburg PA, Atlantic City NJ, Montclair NJ, Philadelphia, and New York. In 2010 Samantha enrolled in the Master of Fine Arts program at Montlair State University with a concentration in painting. While at MSU, Samantha worked as a Teaching Assistant for undergraduate drawing courses and Art Forum. Samantha also was on the Montclair mural committee under Julie Heffernan. Samantha graduated in 2012 with an MFA and is now living and working outside New York City pursuing a career as an artist and curator.
Our relationships with objects are much like ones we have with people. Some belong without reason and may accompany us for a short time, we remember them because we were crazy about them; while other objects we find repugnant through experiences and are inclined to not approach or understand them again. These frequently obsessive unjust feelings point back to our childish whims. There is no doubt in these small things painted, as we realize we miss them.
The recollection of toys and play manifested in these paintings are inspired specifically by mass produced dollar store items. Titles such as Slamrocket $1.00 recall the pursuit of rudimentary pleasure within a bound price-point. The artificiality of the toy’s material is revealed through the blunt hues almost straight from a tube of paint. By working small scale, no larger than a square foot, I create the paintings impulsively echoing the intimate enthusiasm a child holds every time a new toy is in their hands.
Through abstraction of setting, scale, and placement, the objects are separated from their original purpose. The addition of each toy to the large body of paintings creates relationships between them as repetition of color, form, and functions are apparent. These traits are sometimes quirky simultaneously pointing at the objects peculiarities and addressing social concerns. Gender role-play, violence and drug use are implied by the placement of cropped imagery suggesting the female or male anatomy, and exaggerating forms such as a trigger or suggesting a kazoo to appear as a pipe. These nuances play with childhood fixations that later develop into adult indulgences. Close ups suggest what is left out of the picture plane and up for imagination; it is then apparent how these toy objects may insignificantly or essentially live on through us. The viewer imagines holding, interacting, and engaging with the toys as a child or as an adult recalling the impact of the toy as an icon. These vantage points are essential to the question of what is commonplace and what is extraordinary.