Sam Hinds
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Wood   |   Bronze

Artist's Statement:

With a lifelong interest in the fine arts I pursued formal training and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Arts from Oregon State University in 1973. Thereafter I entered the art program at the University of Washington and received a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture in 1976. At this point my life took an interesting jog when I found a new professional interest and pursued pre-med education at Portland State University and eventually received a Doctorate of Medical Dentistry from Oregon Health Sciences University in 1983.

In 1984, I moved to Corvallis, Oregon, to establish my private dental practice and to take advantage of the thriving artistic climate and the proximity to several of America's finest bronze art foundries. I have always maintained an active and continuous sculpture interest in my private studio on the grounds of my residence. I only recently retired from dentistry which will provide the welcomed and long awaited opportunity re-pursue with greater focus and vigor my first career – sculpture. With this unusual mixture of interests and life experiences I have endeavored to bring both imagination and individuality to my sculptures, drawings and paintings.

In the vastness of nature, life can be seen as a brief period of awareness, during which time we humans struggle, often aggressively, to survive and to understand. It is sometimes bleak, sometimes beautiful and always mysterious. In the arts, as in science, philosophy and religion there is always an element of mystery. It is this mystery that remains the focal point of my artistic endeavors. As if directed by forces beyond myself I have spent the last 30 years in sculpture, drawings and paintings, reaching toward the enigmatic nature of being. I accept that arrival is beyond me but questioning continues to be profoundly rewarding.

I am principally a figurative artist. I want my art to have an emotional element and the strongest way to have that effect is to have an image that the viewer can identify with. Ergo, the figure. With the figure I utilize line, shape, design and motion to create visual interest and to strengthen the expression of content. Content is an important element of my work, although I personally have a strong image as to the content of my work. Like haiku, I expect my sculpture to express different interpretations depending on the experiences of the individual viewer.

The human figure has its own power and its own magical essence; and because of this it became my language of choice to best express the meaning of my art, its symbolism and content. Long ago I chose the human figure because I believe it can be universally understood by everyone while reserving an element of individual interpretation, meaning and emotionality. All of my artistic work begins from my personal vocabulary as it relates to human architecture. Recognizable anatomical shapes become more meaningful, more expressive and more symbolic as a baseline for my interpretative art as I work through the design and form of each sculpture.

I have found both spirit and energy from such classical sculpture artists such Rodin and Michelangelo while pursuing a contemporary and unique flow of form and function. My sense and feeling is that each of my sculptures gains strength from each other. They are in every way spiritual, even mystical yet each intimate and personal with their own energy, personality and flavor.

My style may vary according to subject, expression and material, but my overall tendency is towards simplicity and purity of form and surface, rather than the complication of unnecessary detail. Often disenchanted with the status quo I have not limited myself to any one form or style of art. I have moved beyond modernism's hermetic tendencies by abandoning formalism, rules and traditional art materials. Less by intent and more by artistic DNA I have sought to defy convention and to produce works that while not be easily categorized have expressed elements of meaning and understanding. My sculptures are an attempt to fuse several disparate elements into a whole. Hopefully, the whole will help to enlighten both the artist and the viewer as to the meanings and experiences of life.