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Sam Octigan’s Surreal Portraits Mix Memories, Mythology

Sam Octigan, an Australian artist, mixes the figurative and the abstract in his paintings. His subjects sometimes are enveloped in these abstractions and disparate objects. Otherwise, they comprise these figures, like memories or something more haunting. Even when the artist limits his palette to varying shades of gray, his works absorb and convey kineticism.


Sam Octigan, an Australian artist, mixes the figurative and the abstract in his paintings. His subjects sometimes are enveloped in these abstractions and disparate objects. Otherwise, they comprise these figures, like memories or something more haunting. Even when the artist limits his palette to varying shades of gray, his works absorb and convey kineticism.


A recent exhibition at Melbourne’s The Stockroom saw Octigan play with mythology. Or as the gallery says, “Visually following his path of bold, dynamic, arresting paintings on canvas, ‘MYTHOS’ is seen as an opportunity to work and experiment with narratives that are universal and intertwining.” Stripped of contemporary iconography, the artist’s works take on a timeless sense of longing and tension. The artist explores myths and rituals of several cultures, but he also finds the themes that carry through many of them, from the pursuit of resurrection to bouts of power. In drab reds and blues, the work carries a worn quality, aged in content and representation.


Over the past several years, Octigan has moved between corporate illustration and personal work, juggling a few works at time in any given period. Clients include RVCA, Billabong, Resists Records, and Drop Dead Clothing.



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