what they say

"Sam's pieces explode with hypnotic, colorful movement, grotesque figures, and hilarious details. Psychedelic and humorous, I find that I'm unwinding each one of them with my eyes and diving deep, wincing and smiling between grinning worms and visceral wounds. I look forward to seeing more of her portraits and her organized events- both forms of outreach that demonstrate a mutual love between Sam and her community." -Anne Bryant, former art reviewer for Spotlight Magazine & The Portsmouth Herald

"You don’t just “look” at Sam Paolini’s art—you are directly flung into a dimension that is her mind’s eye. Enter a world filled with creatures that appear to be alien-earthling hybrids, with the occasional detached limbs, random nipples and, of course, her signature detached eyeballs. Those familiar with the late Southern artist Royal Robertson will find similarities in both of their other-worldly pieces, although Sam’s work does show some pretty distinct ties to the feminist movement. Her work is so genuinely vibrant and strange that to add any sort of hallucinogen to the mix would probably put you into a coma." -Darcie Blake,  artist & comedian

"Sam Paolini's art is chaotic and borderline insane in the most beautiful and imaginative way possible. It makes me want to have nightmares." -Ryan Harrison, founder of Salty Speakers

"Breathes artsy breaths. Lives artful moments. Presents the beast-like qualities we all think we need to hide in ourselves in a much more beautiful, and admirable way than we're all usually willing to see. Shares all she's got in order to communicate, articulate, lead, inspire, and support." -Cassie Brazeau, artist

"Sam Paolini makes artwork that's full of psychedelic color schemes and surreal landscapes. Bold characters, bright colors, and extreme bodily proportions are abundant in her work. Sam's art is a visual representation of the nightmarescape we all fear but few can tap into." -Maxwell Neil Arbuckle of Green Bastard

"Sam Paolini’s art immediately draws the viewer’s attention to its creative and imaginative power. The violent yet beautifully thought out composition of each piece evokes a sense of duty that compels the observer into action. Blending colors and varying themes from throughout the expanse of Art History, she creates a unique and commanding style. This style extols the virtues specific to American art with her particular qualities of verve and innovation. She continues the tradition of artists like Robert Henri who rebelled against a pompous European academicism and its out-of-date mythologies. Rebellion, rebirth, and the constant search for one’s soul are the characteristic traits that bind great artists of any generation.
The imagery can come across as shocking at first glance, but it always hides a fresh and deeply thought out idea about contemporary issues that overrides the initial reaction and then turns your attention outward. She creates her art with energy, humor and a social conscience that speaks directly to our own time and experience. Dealing with political issues like the ever present idea of the government’s watchful eye, to social issues, like the the complexities of modern personal relationships, her work has the ability to change your perspective. This interaction of political and social dissidence is complex and pervasive. Her art holds you in its embrace like a Mother grasping her child in its first years of infancy. It’s this comfort that grabs the onlooker’s attention and never lets it go." -Aaron Lee Marshall, musician


Sam Paolini is a visual artist, illustrator, printmaker, clothing designer, community organizer, curator, publisher, and teacher living in Dover, New Hampshire. They have been a professional artist since dropping out of Massachusetts College of Art in 2008. In March 2010 they founded Wrong Brain, a zine featuring the art and writing of local creatives. Wrong Brain has since expanded to 9 zines, 3 audio compilations, annual alternative art fairs, gallery shows, poetry readings, and other multimedia art events. From 2010-2013, Sam directed the curatorial committee of 30 Under 30, a locally renowned annual art exhibition featuring the Seacoast's best emerging artists. They have been teaching art at the non-profit art center Main Street Art in Newfields, NH since 2011. In 2012, the children's book Dream Detectives: Something Funny About the Cake was published, featuring 30 pages of illustrations by Sam. They are resident artist for rock band People Skills, and have also worked for Dean Ween and Tera Melos. 


The New Hampshire, 11/11/16

The Parrott, Spring 2016

The Portsmouth Herald, 1/28/15

The Sound, 12/10/12

Spotlight Magazine, 10/18/13

Spotlight Magazine, July 2011