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NHS Heroes - Sam Barroso

NHS Heroes - Sam Barroso

Art of the week

So we caught up with 19yr old Sam, a North West London based artist who has been drawing for 7 years. Me and Sam first became acquainted via Instagram, just prior to Xmas 2020. My attention was drawn to one of Sam's drawings in progress and I was astounded by it. He entitled it NHS Heroes which was beautifully named, especially during these tough COVID times we are currently living in.

COVID has hit a lot of people very hard in the last 12 months, especially NHS workers who have been working on the front line since day one, often working 10-15 hrs shifts, masked up and sometimes wearing full PPE throughout their shift. Just the thought of working in this environment alone, uncomfortable and tired, when just thinking about the fear of actually catching COVID would be enough for me.

I often see people shopping in supermarkets, without any masks, some claiming medical exemptions whilst others I firmly believe are just flouting the law and basic safety & etiquette, endangering the lives of the rest of the community. I wonder how they people would cope, in the same environment as these Dr's, nurses, cleaners and carers.

I believe we need to all work together to rid this awful COVID disease. I remember the nights we spent clapping for carers, which were worthless if, minutes later we breached the other basics of meeting up with family and friends.

In Sam's artwork you will see names, hidden in the background of the sketch. At first these names appear meaningless, until you realise what they are and represent. We put a few questions to Sam, have a read below to see how important these name are to us.........

Sam Barroso - NHS Heroes

What age did you first notice you had a talent for art and can you remember what your first big piece of artwork was?

In my early years of Secondary school, I hated art as I didn’t know how to draw, but also, I couldn’t find an art style that truly resonated with me. I finally discovered Hyperrealism and artists such as Kelvin Okafor who was the contemporary pioneer at the time. I remember studying his art style and technique for hours until I got to year 11 and finally had the courage to do my first ‘realism’ portrait which was of Samuel L. Jackson.

Who are your inspirations and why?

Many of my works, especially my Portraits are inspired by Kelvin Okafor due to the sensitive nature of my technique. Though in this recent year I have become more influenced by MC Escher, Arinze Stanley and Jono Dry as I want to shift my style from realism to exploring the figurative/portraiture realm through abstract realism. I want my art to live beyond the page, being a commentary on social/ethical issues, embedded with deep hidden meaning which the viewers can uncover and discover.

Your masterpiece NHS Heroes. What were your inspirations behind that sketch?

Since the Pandemic started the NHS Workers have been on the front line, showcasing resilience, courage and determination. These are attributes that make a hero, and as such, I felt it was important to portray every NHS worker, no matter their role or background. The Typography in the background represent the names of the NHS Workers that have tragically passed away during the fight to save people's lives. I want their names to live on in the same way that my art lives beyond the page and never be forgotten.