Sam Flores’ mythology is populated with costumed urchins and lithe beauties swathed in flowers; he is a painter of masked child-heroes with oversized hands. Flores’ subjects convey a melancholy power, resisting the gaze of the onlooker as if they alone understand how the world can be so painful and so beautiful at the same time.
The New Mexico native recently traveled with Upper Playground on an eleven-cities-in-eleven-days European art tour – a jaunt that included fellow Hotel des Artist David Choe (Room 304) – Flores has literally left his mark all over the globe. He has become a sort of poster child for urban art, creating mass-produced items such as a collectible vinyl “TigerBaby” toy. A Sam Flores baby tee was recently spotted on an Urban Outfitters sale rack.
Flores swallowed his Painted Room project whole, creating the ultimate, all-encompassing, florid escape for guests he’ll never meet. He credits Michael Parkes and Derek Hess as influences.