Born in 1982 Samuel Bassett comes from Cornwall, more specifically the town of St Ives steeped in fishing and artistic heritage. His family have been there as fisherman and working on the land, mining and farming for hundreds of years and until recently he occupied a studio above his grandfathers former net loft at Porthmeor studios a few minutes walk from the Tate Gallery within the hustle and bustle. 

Contemporary stories from his own experience and family lore and snippets or news from the ups and downs of his everyday social life combine with nuanced vulnerability and an expressive and experimental hand to create psychologically layered paintings about the human condition and his/our place within the madness of contemporary life. His sensitive and questioning introspection and emotional flip flopping means nothing is too obvious or too pretty in his paintings. Self portraits merge with real and imagined characters adapted to the story and how he is feeling at the time. The paintings often feel like they are questioning themselves and himself and this questioning and  blurring of recollection  combined with the artists joy of exporing painting for paintings sake make for images that have longevity and a strongly recognisable yet ever transient voice. A gregarious and engaging character his mind nevertheless seems to be questioning the bigger harder issues and to flit excitedly between concern and celebration.

Toby Clarke

Vigo Gallery

2020

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