Sam Samiee wins Royal Award for Modern Painting 2016
Sam Samiee, who graduated from AKI ArtEZ in 2013, is one of the winners of the Royal Award for Modern Painting 2016. His Majesty the King presented the award at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam on the afternoon of Friday 7 October. Four young artists – Bart Kok, Mike Pratt, Tanja Ritterbex en Sam Salehi Samiee – received the prize of €6500. Following the presentation ceremony, the King opened the exhibition at which the winning works and a selection of the other paintings are on display. The exhibition is open to the public from 8 October to 16 November, Tuesday-Sunday from 10:00 – 17:00.
Royal tradition The Royal Award was instituted in 1871 by King William III as a Royal Subsidy for Painting. After King William III, Queens Emma, Wilhelmina, Juliana and Beatrix and King Willem-Alexander have continued this tradition. The Royal Award is designed to encourage talented young painters. Dutch visual artists aged 35 or under can compete for the award. This year, over 240 artists submitted visual material.
The jury report on the work of Sam Salehi Samiee: Symbols play a major role in our society and in art. Samiee (1988) interrogates those symbols in his paintings. Moreover, he offers an alternative to the Eurocentric perspective on the world. He presents the Persian literary-humanist perspective, not as a replacement but as an addition to the visual humanism of Dutch art. In doing so, he adopts a strong position amid the storm of symbols and opinions, identities and memories that so confuses our current world. His work shows an artist pushing the limits in a controlled fashion. A decorative power that sometimes flirts with kitsch and the alternation in themes from weighty to putting things in perspective reveal an artist who is able to play different registers.