Following a two-year stint of treatment for borderline personality disorder and heroin addiction, I re-entered the world with the moniker “Sammy thrashLife” and the resolve to build a life on the new passion I discovered while institutionalized. On Friday afternoons, theyʼd make us draw or paint. I hated it until, one day, it just clicked and became my favorite thing in the world.
A graduate of the Law Center at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, I have no formal arts training. I like colors and funny faces. Admittedly, itʼs more than that but Iʼm the first to admit Iʼve got zero technical ability.
Bright colors, rotten smiles, and snarky captions in bold block-letters characterize my work but a closer look reveals intensely honest, reflective, personal journals in small print. I donʼt shoot heroin anymore but Iʼm still an emotional basketcase. Paints and pens are the tools I use to balance myself out.
I had my first exhibition in November 2013 and, soon after, decided I was too ambitious to stay in one city. In January of 2014, I set out traveling the country, meeting with galleries and creating, exhibiting, and selling my art in new cities. Art became my full-time job.
In the fall of 2015, my life fell apart and – by February of 2016 – I had stopped making art and was back to shooting heroin on a daily basis. I’ve yet to add the majority of my last year’s work to this site’s Gallery and am no longer in the habit of regularly updating the Blog.
On August 17, 2016, I took an obscene quantity of benzodiazepines and destroyed or seriously damaged the majority of my unsold work, before overdosing on heroin and – four days later – waking up in the hospital.
As I’m currently relearning how to exist and function as a human being, I’ve not been active in art but am interested in any opportunities should they materialize on their own. Gallery owners/directors, curators, and other prospective exhibitors (as well as prospective buyers and collectors) – are welcome to contact me regarding the availability of my work and myself. I’m also open (at least theoretically) to potential commissions and graphic (or other) design work but have no plans to otherwise resume painting and/or drawing in the near future.
Selected press and media:
Folio (magazine; Florida)
“Sam’s brutal honesty, always with a dose of narcissism and boyish charm … leaves an impact on almost everyone he meets. He gives so much of himself, both through his art and the short biographical stories he includes with each piece — which is exactly why it’s selling.” (Read the full story).
NPR (radio; Minnesota)
“Sporting a shock of blond hair and an impish grin, thrashLife has a presence that verges on performance art… His paintings are brash and colorful, mixed with small-print streams of consciousness and topped with a larger, more snarky or witty comment to grab the eye.” (Listen to the full report).
You can also read about Sammy thrashLife on Wikipedia, follow his Facebook page and Instagram account, and get the most information and most regular updates from his personal Facebook profile. (Updates from the Facebook profile are mostly “friends only” and so require approval of a “friend request”; if yours goes unanswered, try sending a message either through Facebook’s Messenger or with the contact form).