“I’ll never know the crow” artist statement

23 new paintings by Sam Harmon

March 18th through May 30th 2016

Amanita Gallery


“I love the crow. I will always love their personality, their motion, their abstraction, their culture, their relationship to humanity, their color palate, their flight, their resilience, their…

I have been painting the crow now for twenty years. TWENTY YEARS! Sure, I have painted a lot of other subjects, and the hows and whys of painting have changed radically, but the crow keeps flying into the frame.

Ten years ago I made a choice not to paint the human figure anymore. I had become intellectually and personally aware of the power imbalance that occurs between the artist and her subject. I no longer wanted to exploit that power.

This choice led me down a rabbit hole of paralysis, asking questions like:

   -how useful is belief?

      -another white man’s ideas, really?

         -is creation more destructive then destruction?

I started adjusting who I am, so I turned down the volume on the part of me that saw myself as man, artist, creator, successful. I turned up the volume on the part of me that loved what was with me, becoming someone who identifies with nurturing those things.

I am painfully aware now that I will never know the crow. It hurts me that the list above of all the things I love are simply interpretations, and that I am still wielding the same imbalanced power relationship over the crow, the egret, the elk, the bay, the ocean, the wind, the sky as I did with humans ten years ago.

But, it is undeniable that:

   I still love color and texture and luminosity.

   I still love struggle.

   I still love observing the natural world.

If those things are an equation, the answer is still painting.