Mixed media assemblage, 1989-91. 1575x1219 mm; 62x48 inches. Signed in pencil, lower right
Provenance: collection of the artist.
Joe Sam, born in Harlem and now working in Connecticut, has spent much of his career as an artist in California. He studied at Howard University, Columbia University and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. His brightly colored mixed media public art projects decorate playgrounds and train stations in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
The colorful patterns and use of found objects in Sam's work reflect a lyricism and musicality that he explores in his Jazz Series of the late 1980s and '90s. Inspired by music in all objects, Sam created a sub-series from The Jazz Series, his Music Series, which included five collages, representing blues, country, soul, classical and jazz music.
Works from Joe Sam's Jazz Series can be found in the collections of Bobby McFerrin, for whom he also designed the album cover for his 1990 album, Medicine Man, and Nancy and Paul Pelosi.