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‘Sampson’s Potpourri at FNCC

Paying homage to renowned 18th century Japanese graphic artist, Hokusai, one of John Sampson’s vivid art works that will be exhibited at the Franco Namibian gallery.

Paying homage to renowned 18th century Japanese graphic artist, Hokusai, one of John Sampson’s vivid art works that will be exhibited at the Franco Namibian gallery.

“And with a finger she touched her breast already nude, to indicate that she was in her native country. She was dressed in a white sheet that clung to her pure skin and she was barefoot. He grabbed her waist and brought her behind the curtain” is one of the inscriptions on the art works that will hang in the gallery taking the viewer on a surreal journey of deep emotions.
When I heard the title of John Sampson’s solo exhibition titled ‘Potpourri’ I immediately thought of colour, flowers in full bloom bringing to the mind a kaleidoscope dream and an imaginable sweet aroma. Looking at some of the art work I realised that is exactly what it is: a mix of works drawn from different portfolios, in different sizes and with such a vibrancy of colour.
The art speaks of, different conditions at different times. It consists of small works created as a tribute to 18th century Japanese graphic artist, Hokusai; medium and large works, some of them abstract, dealing with the artist’s ongoing concerns about the threat of extinction of the San people; and figurative works which deal with aspects of the nude body.
Sampson also works as an art critic in the local print media,and has exhibited in Singapore, Finland, Germany, Spain and France, with a total of about 60 exhibitions to his name.
Sampson’s portfolio of small works is based on images which were created as a tribute to Hokusai whose work had a dramatic impact on the development of Impressionism. These works are based on Hokusai’s erotic works in the graphic genre, and his explorations as a prominent tattoo artist of the time.
The larger component of the “Potpourri” exhibition is abstract works, again based on issues relative to the San. These works often find their genesis in a book of poetry titled ‘The Return of the Moon’ by the late Stephen Watson.
The works in medium format come from different sources. Primarily amongst them are paintings done in Germany in 2010. The portfolio is still a work in progress and deals with Sampson’s ongoing concerns about the San (Bushmen) of the southern African region.
To get a whim of what the artist describes as serious, funny, even hilarious but most of all real. Be sure to find yourself at the Franco Namibia Terrace Gallery on Monday 04 March. The exhibition will run until 22 March. Doors open at 18:30. Entrance is free.

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