Sammy Lopez, a Colombian and Puerto Rican multi-media artist, earned his BFA in 2007 from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. After his graduation he and his brother, Dre Lopez, helped start PIENSA: Art Company, a design and art studio. His freelance work with local & national arts communities as well as his experience setting up creative events throughout the following years allowed Sammy to collaborate with a wide range of artists, causes and projects. This range of projects have brought varied clients and needs that have created a further versatility to his work. While he is still a freelance graphic designer/artist, under the ’91layers’ as well as ‘PIENSA: Art Company’ brand, he has also worked for Free Times Newspaper, in Columbia, SC and currently works for the University of South Carolina doing graphic design and marketing.
Sammy’s first influences were cartoons, graphic novels, and Japanese animation. While these early influences helped mold his craft, his art and creativity have no bounds. He tries to never limit his art or the audience’s interpretation of it.For more of his portfolio work and contact information head over to 91layers.com.
Sammy López, Columbia, SC – 2020
About this piece…
“I chose to focus on fear as the main response to COVID-19. The true fear of this unknown virus and unknown situation that it has placed the world in. By now I feel a lot of people have acclimated to the new “normal”, but the situation that we all still traverse is one of unknown futures and anticipation for a new “normal” that feels less fear inducing. One where death and disease feels less looming at every step we take just to live out our daily lives. The image I created focuses more on the first few months of learning of the virus and the overload of information that I was consuming in trying to feel safe in how I was to approach life moving forward; from the small everyday moves to having to stay at home and isolate myself in a way in which I had not done before. I think as much as needing to stay informed is helpful, having the overload of information as well the threat of death and uncertainty made me feel the need to disconnect. The image is a reflection of that. Wanting to silence my senses to the situation but also the constant stream from every angle of information and doom. While I want to disconnect, I use hands covering eyes, mouths and ears as a way of quieting the senses, but by creating them transparent and not solid, it shows that I can’t fully disconnect. Both in trying to find hope in a future where the threat is less severe, but also in not silencing myself to the reality that we are living in a pandemic, I chose to not fully ignore what is happening. The transparency of the hands is also a response to the poor reaction by a lot of society to the pandemic and how that affects me in trying to live my life in this “normal”. The transparency of the hands then takes on a secondary meaning. This uncontrollable, non-human threat, somehow became a human and political tool to be used against the people for economically and politically leaning reasons. In this meaning, I wanted to also have the hands be more see-through as a symbol of not believing, or seeing through the lies that are being thrust upon Americans, as well as other parts of the world, in an attempt to dismiss human lives over economic downfalls for a nation.”