Samantha Friend (BFA 2016) is a junior in photography at the School of Visual Arts in New York, NY. Since moving to New York from her hometown outside Chicago, she has become infatuated with the quality of the modern memory of experience, documenting the outdoors and all that is included in her natural environment. Her series “Swatches” focuses predominantly on New York’s zoos, creating a collection of abstracted environmental samples that transform their initial subject matter into soft, ambient landscapes of tone, texture and color.
In her artist statement, Friend explains that the project seeks elements of seriousness in somewhat childish places, lingering on the idea of an off-season: a time when interest dwindles, yet things remain the same. “The result of this collective abandonment are small, mutable clues, containing whispers of a environment,” she writes. Put into this context, her quiet, subtle photographs suggest a perceptual transition from childhood; the eye wandering from initial disinterest, yet ultimately discovering new, solemn, and tranquil landscapes in the periphery between the spectacle and the mundane.
All images © Samantha Friend