Sam Snell (born 1999) is an artist living and working in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His passion for art began at a young age, when he would constantly write and illustrate his own books. Long being enchanted by the art of the old masters, Snell took the opportunity to study abroad in Florence, Italy in the spring of 2020. Snell’s work, which consists primarily of detailed oil paintings, has won him numerous scholarships and awards. His current body of work is geared toward expressing poignant experiences that come as a result of living in a time of great change.
My work draws from nature and the human figure in order to create narratives that are based on personal experiences. Through a naturalistic style heavily inspired by Classical art, I address themes related to sexuality and human interaction with nature. I work primarily in oil paint, making use of a vibrant color palette and traditional surfaces such as canvas, wood panels, and different fabrics. I create art to gain a sense of control over my life as I grapple with the ever-present challenges of understanding my desires and overcoming fear.
My paintings often illustrate scenes of places I’ve visited, create dramatic allegories with references to mythology, or express moments of intense emotion through self-portraiture. As an artist, I have begun to see that there is something beautiful to be found in every environment. It becomes difficult to see things this way when we let our fear guide our lives. Painting, for me, is a way of seeing past fear, viewing the world in new ways and understanding the fundamentals of human desire.