CRISTINA SAMSA REVIEW
ARTICLE FROM Churn Magazine
Cristina Samsa is a professional artist based in Mexico City, Mexico.
Cristina has turned a natural revulsion toward insects into a creative adventure, and we are the beneficiaries of her efforts. Cristina became determined to override her aversion by studying insects more closely with magnifying glasses and microscopes. She quickly began to appreciate how beautiful these small creatures were, particularly in regards to their superior ability to adapt through the art of natural selection. She developed an appreciation for the endless variety of aesthetic possibilities their bodies presented, thus turning her phobia into an artistic obsession. For reference material she uses desiccated insects, live specimens and insect illustrations, then modifies the images digitally to emphasize the details she wants to paint.
She arranges her composition carefully, and when she’s satisfied, she begins her painting using watercolors, acrylics, and oil paint. Her rendering skills are flawless, and her mastery over her chosen media (particularly her work with oils), is obvious. The result is a body of work that shows insects for what they are to an artist’s eye: endlessly fascinating collections of color, form, and texture.
Cristina’s favorite artists are the old naturalists and insect illustrators such as Joris Hoefnagel, Dru Drury and Rösel von Rosenhof. She is currently working on a series of paintings entitled, “The Fall of the Human Empire,” in which diverse coleopterans crown human skulls that once contained a human brain which is now obsolete in comparison to the power and perfection of insect evolution, symbolizing the superiority of instinct over reason and the total extinction of human beings.
About this series, Cristina states that, “When the empires of the human race finally fall and the memory of our hubris has faded to dust, insects will still be here just as they have been for millions of years.”