Adrian Samson is a Slovakian-born Hungarian living and working in England.
Episode 157: Checking in with Adrian Samson whose exceptional book Mother I had covered last autumn for American Suburb X, which was published by Rollo Press.
Adrian is an artist at his very foundation. His work exceeds the format of photography as he works in collage and the assembly of images. His day job is working in editorial and fashion, but his practice exceeds those constraints. His background in photography in phenomenally interesting and you get the sense of an artist who knows how to look laterally to get where he wants to go without ever ceding an inch of his desires.
I first encountered Adrian’s work when I received his excellent book. I was quite taken with both the intimacy of the work which is about family and fatherly observation. It is a work of dedication, wonderment and re-calibration. I believe that becoming a parent for artists is something special. We tend to exist in our pursuits/bubble quite heavily until that moment. What is art if not about the ego? When children come into play, this disrupts the network and drive of one and we have to recognize that life is going to be different. It is no longer a singular pursuit. That being said, family does not mean that life and art have to be mutually exclusive.
Adrian’s book Mother is a comment on this. At first, I was very taken with the precarious nature of some of the images. It recalled in me my own moments of fathering and how this came to shape my world and own personal artistic output. The image on the thumbnail of the episode is one of the images that is so undeniably sensitive and so provocative of action, that every single parent I know can grasp the totality of its meaning. It is about life, caring and the complete trust. One false move, accidental etc. creates a panic. Even seeing the image, we are forced to reconcile the inherent bond between parent and infant.
Adrian and I spoke widely about his background. I found it interesting that he came from Slovakia. For those of you who are Slovakian, you will understand immediately what he means about the Hungarian background that Adrian shares in historic and cultural terms. Its a treat to speak with people who have mixed cultural backgrounds like this. Adrian’s genesis in how he got to where he is today is also quite singular. Tales of cruise ship photography and continent hopping are just part of his background and skill set. Please tune-in. I guarantee that though much of Adrian’s story is singular, you will come away with some priceless guidance in the way in which you look at the field of photography.