Artwork created by Samuel Lind Hernandez is inseparable to his roots at Barrio (district) Mediania Alta in Loiza, the most important epicenter of Afro-Puerto Rican culture. Lind was raised in a palm grove in between the road and the beach eating crabs and cassava and drinking coconut milk. He was given paper by his uncle to make notebooks and sketch the people of the town. High energy bomba dances comprised of sensual moves, famous in Loiza as well as the festive processions and religious traditions in honor of Patron Saint San Miguel Arcangel, provided the inspiration for his first paintings as an adolescent and can still be seen in his art today.
“My first formal painting was of a bomba dance, that is very powerful here; I had that sense of wanting to capture this dance graphically with all of its energy and force,” said the 63-year-old Lind during an interview from his workshop in Loiza, where he has lived and worked his entire life.
At San Juan’s School of Plastic Arts, where he paid for his studies offering drum lessons at several local churches; Lind studied the techniques of painting, sculpture, and silk screen painting.
“It (School of Plastic Arts) served to learn the basics and history of art, which is important, but nothing took me away from my perception of who I was. I was too attached to my heritance; I was born in a house where a saint is maintained…I had an upbringing here that was my world, my universe,” Lind said. Maintaining a saint is part of the tradition in Loiza where the statue of San Miguel Arcangel guarded the house of a distinguished family in the community, who had the right to take care of it and was responsible to take it to the annual processions during the month of July.
“What differentiates my work is that I am very regionalist but now that’s ‘in’ according to the world of art,” Lind said. “Today this distinctiveness gives the artist more value. When I was at the School of Plastic Arts some would say my work wouldn’t transcend because it was too folkloric.” It was a derogatory comment, reproaching at times his desire to project his Afro-Puerto Rican culture.
“But I didn’t believe it because I understood that art is a human expression where one is free to express themselves…I have a definite black cause in my work, it is what I lived. I see it with grandeur…I work at a level where I seek quality, expression, and immersed energy and whovever gets it, gets it.”
Lind considers himself an eclectic artist as far as his painting style, use of technique, pointillism concepts and the impressionism and cubism inside a figurative design, which has strengthened his own pictorial language from these elements.
Since his early days, Lind has featured his work abroad and has presented at museums and galleries in Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, Cleveland, among others. In Puerto Rico you can appreciate his work at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Santurce. In these past years he has stopped selling his art through gallery circuits and prefers to attend potential buyers and art collectors directly who find him through his website or visit his workshop.
One of his most recent satisfying international experiences was his participation as a guest artist at the African Festival of the Arts in Chicago where he had an exhibit.
Interested in purchasing work by Samuel Lind, you can visit Samuel Lind Studio situated on Road PR-187 km 6.6, in Loiza or call (787) 876-1494.