Artist Sam Park Talks About Creating ‘New’ Impressionism
It truly takes a talented artist to reimagine and create a style, and Sam Park is one of the many Park West Gallery artists to have achieved this feat.
When Park graduated from university, he moved to France in 1982 where he studied and painted with other artists in Paris. He found great inspiration from the French Impressionists, who preferred freely brushed colors over line and contour for their works.
Park pays respect to the art of the French Impressionists with his style, but he wanted to create his own voice. He desired rich colors and configurations that also allowed him to capture a hyper-realistic feel. Over time, he evolved his style into New Impressionism, which is his own form of Neo-Impressionism, a style that emerged in 1886 with artist Georges Seurat.
“Impression art of the 19th century, they needed mood, it was more romantic,” he says. “But now, televisions and computers give mood, so that is why art needs to be deeper, and fresher.”
The majority of Park’s work is created with a palette knife. Where most palette knife painters use broad, simplified strokes, Park has honed his skills to the point where he can create the finest of details not typically seen with the instrument. He only uses a small brush when he needs to paint extensive details.
With a Park painting, viewers can observe the best of both worlds. On one hand is the boldness of a palette knife with its thick application of textures, but also the very fine and detailed control. This makes his paintings stand out from other Impressionists.
“Photographs do not give you those colors in my paintings,” he says.
Park depicts floras and scenes, inviting viewers to enter into a world of imagination. His paintings are inspired by real places, but he always infuses it with his own emotion and sincerity. One of Park’s favorite memories was during an art auction when a collector, who came to the U.S. from Italy, saw, a painting of her home town that Park had created and began to cry tears of joy.
“Every painting is basically realistic, but then it is how much is placed into it,” he says.
Park came to the United States in 1994, and exhibited in the New York Artexpo in 1996. Overall, Park has more than 70 one-man shows to his credit, making him one of the best-known Impressionists today.