Where I found him some would argue perhaps he shouldn’t have been there. Initially, I too thought he was a camera-pointer, being on a site for esteemed snappers – but no, he works in the medium of collage, integrating the images of others to create his product.
Sammy Slabbnick comes from an artistic family, but dropped out of art school himself, eventually ending up starting a postcard company. It’s still going today. This enterprise gave Sammy S the genesis for his own claim to fame now. He found his love for postcards and vintage magazines could be combined into what quickly became an obsession for him. He reigned this in so it now doesn’t totally dominate his existence – he became more disciplined with beneficial results in terms of success.
He adores garage sales as this is where he can often pick up the raw materials for his product. A picture in any mag could trigger his creative spark and away he goes. He loves stuff from the fifties through to the seventies, focusing on those decades to build up his collages. He attempts to juxtaposition pictures from the advertising of those times with what he finds in both retro men’s and women’s publications to create surprising effects. Sometimes his results may carry a political message, but mostly he’s just looking to surprise and intrigue. He certainly did that for me when I clicked on his name to expose an on-line gallery of his offerings. This quickly led down the googling path until I had accessed more about this unique artist.
Now approaching forty, the Belgian is in demand by a new generation of magazine editors, as well as by gallery owners. He tries to keep what he produces as simple as possible, using far fewer images than many other operators in his field. Those others seem to believe in the notion that the more individual components they can squeeze in the better the outcome. Slabbnick uses his sense of humour, as well as a love of pop-art and surrealism, to influence his own take on the world around us. He aims at what he refers to as a complex appreciation of simplicity from the viewer, but most of all he hopes to put a smile on faces when he or she eventually ‘gets it’. That might require some time standing before one of his collages pondering ‘what’s this all about?’ I invite you to do the same in the ether and engage in a little pondering of your own.
Sammy S’s website = http://sammyslabbinck.tumblr.com/