DMITRY SAMAROV was born in Moscow, USSR in 1970. He immigrated to the US with his family in 1978. He got in trouble in 1st grade for doodling on his Lenin Red Star pin and hasn’t stopped doodling since. After a false start at Parsons School of Design in New York, he graduated with a BFA in painting and printmaking from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1993.
A hallmark of a talented artist is his or her ability to take something everyday, mundane almost, and shift the viewer’s perspective of that object or scene. Dmitry has this quality. The main subject of the work selected for this series is the domestic. Household places that we experience everyday are given a freshness through his choice of framing, color, and a very deliberate heaviness that occurs with oil pastels.
This gallery’s first piece, The Mess I’ve Made, felt like good place to start. Whether or not this is Dmitry’s actual creative studio, it feels like a place of genesis for all of the other pieces. The title works with the piece, as the almost self-deprecation in referring to the space as a ‘mess’ brings a humility to our artist. Of course, most viewers, be they artists or enjoyers of art, will not see a mess, but a sacred space. The messiness leans to an absentmindedness, a focus of the artist on the making of the work instead of cleaning up.
Upon graduation he promptly began driving a cab—first in Boston, then after a time, in Chicago— which eventually led to the publication of his illustrated work memoirs Hack: Stories from a Chicago Cab (University of Chicago Press, 2011) and Where To? A Hack Memoir (Curbside Splendor, 2014). He has exhibited his work in all manner of bars, coffeeshops, libraries, and even the odd gallery (when he’s really hard up).
He no longer drives a cab.
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