Isabel Samaras


Isabel Samarasʼ work is a form of visual storytelling that is witty, mysterious, and
tender. Her painted narratives are classical in technique and pop in content,
revolving around issues of secret love, unrequited lust and making things end the
way we wish they would. Best known for lush and meticulously painted riffs on
Old Masters that send up pop culture icons of the ’70s, her ribald images are
woven with references to classic horror movies, ancient mythology, cheesy
television, and childhood fables.
Familiar to a broad audience through publications like Juxtapoz and International
Tattoo Art magazines, her work has also been featured in books such as 20th
Century Women Artists, Pop Surrealism: The Rise of Underground Art, Weirdo
Deluxe: The Wild World of Pop Surrealism and Lowbrow Art‚ and her monograph
titled On Tender Hooks: The Art of Isabel Samaras. She opened her studio to the
television shows Internet Tonight‚ SexTV, and the documentary films‚ The
Lowdown on Lowbrow and Newbrow: Contemporary Underground Art.
Comparing her work to postmodern painting, one critic writes:
“Samaras has created a truly populist art. Fairy tales, magical realism, and the
forbidden fantasies of fabled characters present a world where elusive desires
become reality. She often re-imagines gothic romances with happy endings, and
ill-fated journeys turn into enchanted honeymoons. Tinged with mischief, she
invites the viewer to be part of her humorous and heartfelt storytelling process.”