Sometimes, I want to conclude that Sam Shaker is “only” the greatest maker of modern “folk art” I can name. Other times, I feel like I am looking at art made by a cloned descendant of Matisse, Manet and Picasso. My confusion would disturb me, except that I can always take refuge in the obvious: Shaker is a highly-skilled portrait artist; certainly one of the best working today.
Shaker can deliver what any modern camera can, but he can add the fun, the mystery, the emotion that even the best photography usually lacks. He shows me fun and sparks me to simultaneously wonder, “What was he thinking?” and “Why didn’t I think of that?”
Shaker’s relentless mashup of styles can delude the uncritical viewer into thinking that the artist lacks focus, when the fact is that he merely sees “more” aspects of his subjects than the average artist. There is “stuff” in Sam’s head and he spits it out through a brush; whether the viewer is ready for it or not, whether the context is immediately certain or not. It may be that quality that will force history to judge that Sam Shaker was actually among the grandest makers of “fine art” in his time.
That Amy Jade Winehouse and Sam Shaker stumbled upon each other was neither an accident nor an element of a teenager without a “tiny penny” wanting to play with folks she fancied to be the big kids. Kismet never errs and it always seeks to pair geniuses; so it did with the Jazz Singer and the Jazzy Painter.
Sam Shaker’s Website
Fine Art By Sam Shaker