Frank Stella wisely noted that ‘a sculpture is just a painting cut out and stood up somewhere’, this statement can be justly applied to Sam Shendi’s work. His work explores the relationship between vertical and horizontal and the interplay of gravity whilst simultaneously exploring the human figure.
The Egyptian influences are clearly visible in his work, hidden symbolism of obelisks, sun-balls or eggs, also with the illumination in bright colours. The physicality of the material, the cut out steel is reduced to the essential parts, nothing is extraneous, and all is elemental. This refined approach to sculpture means Shendi has the artistic ability, the technical know-how to capture the very nature of things.
Based on architectural forms and modernist morphology he brings in a twist of fun and playfulness. The final finished works take a fine line between representation and abstraction. Sam minimizes the human figure through structure, strong verticals set against horizontals. This pure joy of colour, this delight in simple and clean lines means that the work is infused with a gentle humour and is designed to give pleasure, whilst being founded upon serious geometric principles.
Sam is a sculptor who has a sense of history, schooled at the prestigious Helwen University of Fine Arts in Cairo and has been commissioned to produce large-scale pieces for public spaces. His work is rich in references and constructed with the assured precision of a consummate craftsman.