Arthur Peña talks to painter Sam Reveles on the occasion of the exhibition Sam Reveles: Aran at Talley Dunn Gallery, Dallas, on view through June 1, 2013.
Reveles remarks: "Very early on my relationship to the canvas was important for me. I remember staring at the canvas and thinking; 'what motivates me to do something to this beautiful white canvas? How do I make that my space?' I would go through a lot of strategies to personalize that space for myself. Early on, the sizes of the canvases related to the size of my body. I had paintings that were the size of my arms or my torso. They were unstretched and pinned to the wall, so they were like skins. And then I remember the color palette was all based on the color of my skin. That was very important. Later, I started copying Old Master paintings; painting them very thinly and using them as under paintings which would take me weeks to make. I would then start to work on top of them and make notations on them. It made me hyper aware of what I was doing. It wasn’t a throw away mark."