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Sam Carter – Bio

Born and raised in Southern California, I’ve always been into art of some form or another. I’ve been into just about every medium over the years, and definitely go through phases. I worked at Disneyland for 17 years, the last half in the Art Department with Creative Entertainment. From growing up there as a kid and spending so much time there working, it was hard not to have that influence my art. As far as my paintings go, I started getting serious about it when I went to Cal State Fullerton. Didn’t really have the patience for oils, so I got very comfortable with acrylics. I learned that I wasn’t your traditional artist, I did everything I could not to be stuck painting a subject I wasn’t into. I had to find something that interested me, so I started pulling inspiration from pop culture. It certainly wasn’t for everybody; in fact some of the more serious painters I had class with would stick their noses up at it. I thought maybe nobody would be into it and I should stick to traditionalism.

Around that time of me second-guessing my stuff I discovered Gallery 1988 in LA. It was pretty much everything I loved about painting. I realized it was in fact a “thing” and started running full speed at it. It took a few years and a lot of begging and pleading with curators in LA but I finally got my art in some of those shows. I’ve learned it’s a fine line between annoying and persistent. I grew tired of reaching out all the time to be in shows and realized that here in Orange County we didn’t really have a scene like that for pop art. So I got together with a friend and created the POPzilla Gallery. The goal was to have a couple of big events a year, each with a fun pop culture theme. Over the past few years we have had some amazing pop art themed shows. Most recently we have had huge coverage of our Tim Burton Tribute, “The Burton Show”, and the most excellent Back to the Future/Time Travel inspired “Time After Time” show. Our shows usually have between 50-70 artists, mostly from SoCal but sometimes from around the country and even overseas. I didn’t get into the business to really be a curator, but have somehow found myself wearing both hats.

Not everything has been awesome but I can honestly say though doing the POPzilla shows I have met some amazing artists and good friends. It’s developed n to a really cool network of artists. Feels good to be on the other side of the Art Gallery scene. I see myself in a lot of the artists that hit us up. The hard part in all this is to find the time to crank out all the ideas. Between my full time job as the Director of the USC Design Studio, and spending time with the family it hasn’t been easy. What helps is I take an hour train ride each way from OC to LA. That is the main reason I have switched from traditional acrylic on canvas to my Wacom tablet and mac, it’s nice to have 2 hours a day to work on art if I want.

As far as this website goes, it’s my hope to keep filling it my stuff and making it easily available to purchase, and maybe some art from the POPzilla Gallery shows. Thanks for stopping by and if you every see me at a convention stop by and say hi.

Enjoy the Pop,

Sam