Efflorescence: The Short-Lived Beauty of Youth


Still Life Studies by Sam Peach

We first came across Sam Peach through his series Corpus Distortions – a stunning, minimal study into the human form, reducing the body into silhouettes cut and distorted through a prism of soft light. It’s a thoughtful, aesthetically rich body of work, explained in simple terms through his personal statement: “I’m trying to answer some of the questions I have about existence, humanity and myself”.

His new series, Efflorescence, is drawn through a less abstract filter, but continues to search for those answers. Each elegant and carefully crafted diptych pairs a young male model with a flower, and in doing so questions the fragility of youth, and its depiction in fashion and lifestyle magazines as a fast-paced and carefree. He explores traditional portrait and still life methods, with a very modern reaction to the industry he inhabits.

We spoke with Sam, to dig under the surface of his series – to understand more about both his conceptual intent, and his unique creative process.

Figure unmasked shows beauty’s transience,
to now be framed; an Adonis unknown.
He that knows magazine impermanence
remains nameless, cast in a lustrous tone.
And less he will become, summer fading.
The cold agency of dreams cannot last,
but instead it is replaced when ageing.
No quota for a sentimental past.
Like roses, structured, vibrant, freshly chopped,
they live shortly with our thirst, prodigious.
Must we be exchanged, succeeded, dropped,
as Autumn’s burnished blades drop among us?
I have a way to dry blooms eternal.
These, frozen by fake suns, remain youthful.

– Sam Peach