Samuel De Maré


Samuel De Mare. 31.12.1990/ Turnhout

Painter, working & Living in Antwerp, Belgium


 St. Lucas Antwerpen-  Illustration
 Royal Academy of fine arts Antwerp-  Painting

Studio Escalier, Frankrijk;  Argenton-les-vallées & Paris:

  • Autumn intensive 2014 
  • Winter at the louvre  2015 
  • Spring portrait painting 2015
  • Summer intensive 2015
  • Autumn intensive 2016 
  • December in Paris 2017 
  • Summer in Paris 2018 

Main teachers:

Tom van de Wouwer, Michelle Tully, Timothy Stotz,  Tobias Hall, David Baird


For the painter Samuel De Maré one of his most defining moments in his formative years was a particular day when the teacher wasn’t present. Back then, aged 14, he remembers a specific moment where he was drawing and tried to dive as deep in his imagination as he could. He conveyed the most extraordinary imagery he could think of, from houses with chicken legs to skinless walking humans. Ever since that day the vast space of the imaginary and its limits became the main drive in his work..

De Maré continued his education at the Illustration Department of Sint Lucas in Antwerp, but only after one year he got completely infatuated with painting.

He then studied Painting at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts for two years after which he dropped out. He found the history and craft of various painting techniques so absorbing that when confronted with the task to find his own autonomous voice as a painter, he recalls feeling like a musician that’s been asked to compose a melody while still being busy with learning his instrument

Over the span of four years he deepened his painting skills during courses at Studio Escalier in France. The main focus during these lessons lied in observing and interpreting as Samuel often quotes one of his mentors pointing out how “the innocent eye” is a result of training.

Besides sharpening his artistic eye Samuel was simultaneously developing oil painting techniques. For him, the complexity and depth of oil paint were incomparable to any other. It offered him the time to think and compose his imaginative sceneries and get them closer to realism as much as the frame of the painting allows it.

When it comes to the characters in his paintings, mostly based on real life models, a feeling that keeps on reappearing is the one of isolation. Often they seem to be trapped in ordinary mechanical actions like ironing or mowing the grass. The space around them reflects their inner landscape, the other side of their persona, the antagonist to their protagonist. These isolated figures call back to one’s mind the representations of people in heroic acts depicted by old masters. But the absurdity and occasional reduction that Samuel likes to use, give us a sense of a present moment and cast a light on our daily attempts in repairing something that seems to be unrepairable.

While constructing narratives in his paintings, De Maré feels that he almost stumbles upon his characters. For him they already exist and his main task as a painter is to unveil them. Quite often faceless, these anti-heroes are pointing to nowhere while the space around them suggests its vanishing points. In those undefined spots, De Maré finds seeds of paintings yet to come in his ongoing quest to return to the imaginary.

Mario Leko