Who lives between a drying canvas and Sam Clayman’s wet brush on a work-in-progress is a southern cast of soggy, saggy, stretched out, vice-grippin’, butt-rippin’, exaggerated and equally downplayed degenerates.
The thirty-three-year-old, Virginia Beach native, has been doodling super heroes and Shel Silverstein imitations in the area since his primary years. From Kings Grant Elementary through his graduations from FC and Old Dominion, he’s been covering school notebooks front-to-back.
Drawing on a youth well-lived at the oceanfront, Sam’s work is a bizarro world: a collected company employed by nothing more than a good time, and a fast one at that. Under the influence of seasonal tourism, it was a move to the Aloha State back in ‘09 where Sam focused on dragging his gang from the shadows to the sunshine and actually began to show his work.
And we’re glad he did… Rather than purely aesthetic, Sam’s style is decorative and novel. His schemes are basic, but the content is absurd and unforgiving – easy on the eyes, as long as you’re wearing sunglasses and holding a mid-day piña colada.
Prude, crude, class, or crass: Sam’s work is intended for all, but like his characters, individual experiences may vary.
Sam’s latest collection, Nekked Luau, is his most ambitious exhibit to date. Over the past six months, Sam has been busy bringing 100 life-sized wooden cutouts from wet-paint dreams to finished livelihoods.
The art show (disguised as a classic southern beach party) will be held below the original ‘Green Line’ in Virginia Beach’s Pungo region at cultural center, The Tar Roof. Beyond locally sourced boat-drinks and hot eats from The Coop, there will be live music from pop punk band, Deal With It, as well as sounds from one of the area’s most acclaimed DJs, AETGY.