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 and, for nearly three years, that was incredible.

That is until the tail-end of 2015 when I started shooting up again. Since then, it’s been on-again/off-again. Either I’m on drugs and not creating art or off drugs and painting again.

At the time of this writing (July 2020), I’ve only recently kicked heroin again so – by the time you read this – it’s totally possible that it’s all already fallen apart and I’m back to shooting up. If you wanna know how I’m doing right now, you can probably get a pretty good idea by checking the most recent entry on my blog or an even better idea by checking Facebook.

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).

News 4 Jacksonville (television; Florida)
 “An incredible story… His disorder and his addiction haven’t held him back; in fact, they’ve pushed him forward.” (Watch the video/story).

The Wake (magazine; Minnesota)
“While displays fill the gallery, the hectic work of artist Sammy thrashLife steals the show.” (Read full article/review).

NPR / WJCT (radio; Florida)
(Read or 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).

27 thoughts on “Info”

  1. you should send your work to the OK HARRIS gallery in the village (NYC) . Steven Corsano has a show there now, your work is similar…and very touching…

  2. Hi Sammy! I met you in front SunRay Cinemas in Jax and purchased a piece for a friend. Any chance SunRay may air your film in Jax? Do let me know if it happens. Your spirit is delightful… I’m still feeling the love I felt just walking up to your table and seeing all that beautiful, evocative, outrageous bunch of you! Nanette

  3. I meet you walking out of Burrito Gallery 4/11/14 during onespark in JAX, when you asked if I’d like a piece of paper… I initially said no I’m good, until you insisted “it’s a really awesome piece of paper” (your story and website info). Awesome story man and keep up the great art work! Thanks for telling me it was an awesome piece of paper, cause I wouldn’t have taken otherwise.

  4. Hi Sammy, met you on Michigan Ave in Chicago my daughter and walked up to your table, her and I both love your work. Keep in flight!

  5. sending you some love from jacksonville, fl <3 I have one of your pieces up in my room & thought it would be cool to hit you up. we'd love to see you come back around here whenever you get the chance! I love your art (…and you) & I want some more of it (: thx

  6. Sam is a sleeping giant. With a little clarity he’ll conquer world. It may not be formal, and a little off the beaten path, but I have faith, he’s going to find a zone, and become a rocket ship.

  7. Hi Sam, I met you while you were painting on Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis. Very cool to talk to you and see you painting. Also, I loved the letter you posted on local businesses to introduce yourself. Stay Strong!

  8. Hi Sam, You are a great role model of how to take control of your life rather than life controlling you. Keep it up!

  9. Hey Sammy, meet you outside “Instinct” on an unusually hot April 30th in Minneapolis. You were out on the sidewalk painting and had no shirt on … may I just say … your girlfriend is a VERY lucky woman!!!

    You and your art are very inspiring, and even though I can’t afford to buy a piece or two right now, I now have your site and will invest in your future at a later time.

    Best of luck sexy Sammy!

  10. I met you on Broadway in NYC about a week ago. I took some photos (which I’d love to share with you but don’t know how). I told you I’d post you on my tumblr site …

  11. Damn dude. Hate to hear about your earlier troubles. I saw you play with EDFR here in Memphis back in 2004 or 5. I traded a zine for one of your demos. Always remembered those songs, I’m sure I could recite a few back to you. Glad your doing well now, I hope. I’ve had plenty of those old struggles myself.

  12. i just found one of your art works “im excited please dont forget please dont slip” at a local thrift store and i had to buy it. its amazing

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Sam struggles with borderline personality disorder and heroin addiction. When not on drugs, he has his art and writing to thank for it.