Among the most well-known artists of his generation, Sam Falls (1984) has received international acknowledgements and awards from a very young age, building up one of the most brilliant careers of recent years. On display at the Galleria Civica is a core group of over 40 works, most of which exhibited for the first time. Paintings, sketches, sculptures, installations and videos take visitors through an exploration of colour and natural processes.
The moonlight reflects on the water and I go under it. At night in the ocean above the water it’s quiet but loud, like an airplane full of sleeping people. Above the water at night it’s dark but light, like driving down a highway with your headlights off. Treading water at night your body disappears. They say the reason dogs bark when their owners go swimming is they can’t see through the reflection on the surface of the water very well and thus the dogs think their masters have been decapitated. I start to get scared and the more I think about being alone in the ocean the more I feel it deepening below me, so I open the knife and follow the kelp down hand over hand until I reach the mossy rock and cut it off. Like a pearl diver I go back and forth, filling the floating bucket until I’m satisfied, then I go to the beach and complete my work.
In the morning I walk with my son slowly down the dirt path, he’s young and thinks quickly, so the walk is slow – stopping at every little thing to inspect it: flowers, bugs, stones, etc. The plants he knows he says by name, and the only plants he doesn’t know are the ones I haven’t told him because I don’t know their names. So I pick them and take them home, I photograph them and look them up on the Internet, describing them by region, leaf-shape, flower-color, depth of green, etc., until I find it. I bring the plants to my studio and roll them into clay. I cut the clay and do a simple joint to make it stand, like a bouquet preserved for when the forests all disappear.
In the summer I go into the woods and watch the light trickle in through the canopy of leaves. I put up sheets of fabric through the forest behind our house so I can capture the projections passing through the leaves from sunrise to sunset. The wind moves the shadows like seconds and the sun over hours, these color fields are abstracted sun dials of a place, temporarily made two dimensional so you can feel the third dimension as the feeling of a landscape.
In the winter I drive through the city when it rains to see what it looks like. The people living in this city/desert discuss the lack of rain constantly, but when it finally comes not a soul is in sight. Everyone retreats back to their homes or to their cars. They leave the beach and abandon their pets, transcendental homelessness in the uncanny valley.