Sam Shoemaker Lungless, 2022 Ceramic, Ganoderma multipileum (reishi mushroom), supplemented sawdust 14 1/2 x 10 x 13 in.

‘More Permanent Than Snow’ By Michael Shoemaker @ OCHI PROJECTS

July 22, 2022

Mr. Sam Shoemaker Presents us an audacious entry into the world of fungi, one where each population has its distinct personality in seeking to grow at OCHI Projects. The “adventure” of each specie and its unknowable journey is what compels the artist in his craftsmanship. It is that tantalizing ability to direct these lifeforms, which look indistinguishable from the ceramic media which houses nearly all the works, which causes its own elements of “danger” in the success of achieving a permanent form.


Sam Shoemaker, Having a Nice Time Eating (2022), Ceramic, Ganoderma multipileum (reishi mushroom), supplemented sawdust, 14.5 x 11 x 13.5 in.

Sam Shoemaker, Walking on the Phone, 2021 Oak sawdust, cloned Ganoderma mushroom mycelium, plywood, epoxy 43 x 28 x 4 in


It is laudatory that the artist has chosen to be refined in his presentation of his mushroom-life. That is to say, the volume of his artworks are tastefully selected to be able to comfortably rest on modest coffee tables or buffets at an average proportions of roughly 10”x18”x14” inches; as a certifiably florid accent piece for those which champion avante garde variety in their living spaces. The colors of the mushroom, being primarily neutral, are just like their ancestors in not being craven for the sun’s limelight; where they find peace and contentment through subsisting beyond the human eyes perception. Indeed, there is sufficient nutrients being supplied to the funghi life within nearly every artwork to elevate our idea of “organic media” to a higher level.


Sam Shoemaker Lungless, 2022 Ceramic, Ganoderma multipileum (reishi mushroom), supplemented sawdust 14 1/2 x 10 x 13 in.


And what of the durability of such organic material? Don’t mushrooms rot? Do they present a stench? The artworks are entirely odorless, and while death is a part of the biological kingdom, the sense of perishing which is counter-opposite high artworks does not accurately describe the decay of these cellular life forms. They can remain in their morphed state for decades, likely centuries, just as trees can remain planted and still long after they have ceased reproducing. It is the lifeforms fibrousness which provides the works endurance, to present us with an understanding of fine art which is opposed to pop art and its focused evanescence.


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