Featured Artist: Sam Reichman

Sam Reichman

Sam Reichman is a visual artist, poet, and performer. He has shown his visual work and performed at festivals and exhibitions in the United States and India, and his work has appeared in ArabLit Quarterly. Before pursuing the arts full time, he received his undergraduate degree in Middle Eastern Studies from Columbia University and worked in human rights and forced migration. He studied at the Art Students League of New York and will receive his MFA in poetry at Hunter College this spring, where he also teaches.

Artist’s  Statement

My goal is to create work that speaks across genres and traditions. My training in painting was in classical realism, but I work mostly in abstraction and surrealism. Regardless of genre, I try to balance representation with emotional communication. To me, the best paintings move their viewers without sacrificing technical proficiency, no matter how abstract or representational.

My poetry draws from both written and oral traditions. To keep my phrasing dynamic, I look to premodern poetry, like Sappho’s hymns and the North Scots ballads, and the work of contemporary performers, like Kate Tempest, Saul Williams, and Tank and the Bangas. My poetics also draw heavily from the English Renaissance, the Romantic Movement, Modernism, the Black Mountain College poets, and the Beats. Whether on the page or on the stage, I try to create poetry that is sonically rich, emotionally moving, and tonally complex.