Collection: Sam Mathers

New Zealand artist Sam Mathers was born and raised in the small west coast town of Raglan. Much of his work is heavily influenced by his hometown, famous for its world class surf breaks, rugged natural beauty and boutique town centre. 

Having lived abroad and traveled extensively, Sam draws inspiration from the people and places around him. His unique, playful and abstract pieces first drew the attention of ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi’s Art Director Antonio Navas, who attended Sam’s first solo exhibition in Raglan in 2011. What eventuated was Sam’s first commissioned piece, a mural for the agency’s foyer and the rest, as they say, is history, as Sam embarked on a full time career as an artist.

Now, 12 years on, Sam exhibits in various group art shows across the world and his art is sought after by art collectors both here in New Zealand and across the globe. He continues to work on personal and commercial commission pieces for both domestic and international audiences.

“I like to think of my work as a visual diary. Whether re-telling a story about my travels both here in New Zealand or around the world, my art documents the people, places, cultures and interests that have influenced my life. 

I like to extract the instantly recognisable and adapt it to create a talking point, whether that be via scale, multimedia components or colour, I am continually exploring ways to create dimension with the objective that my work speaks to people in different ways and provides an opportunity for the audience to create their own story around each piece. 

I am passionate about the process, the mechanics of how things work and continue to explore new methods within my work. Using graphic sensibility, depth, language and cultural idiosyncrasies allows me to create multi-layers of meaning and the space for each viewer to identify and connect with something individual to them. 

While it may appear organic, my process is deliberate and the scratches, paint drips and weather-beaten footprints are consciously curated to add depth to my work. Not one to shy away from colour, my choices are reflective of how I feel at the time."

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