Satellite Resident Artist: OverUnder
"I think everybody needs an artistic outlet."
In this interview, I spoke with OverUnder—the moniker for artist, Sam Horner—who is selling his collages and various merchandise at Satellite.
Collin: Tell me about yourself!
Sam: I'm from Central Illinois—it’s easier to say that than out in the middle of nowhere, driving 30 minutes to get to Dairy Queen. I moved to Chicago in 2009 to get a taste of the city life and have been working odd jobs since. I found out I had a passion for collage when I found a box of Scientific American Magazines in an alley. They were from 1968 to 1983, so with all the old ads and pictures and stuff—cutting them out was really fun. I went on a spree of buying old books and everything, and now I have way too many books—it takes up all of my free time now.
C: Would you say collaging is your only artistic outlet?
S: At the moment, yeah. In my younger years, I spent way too much time playing video games and was always saying I didn’t have any artistic talent. In high school, you could take shop classes instead of art classes so I wasted my time doing woodcutting and welding and stuff. Now I wish I would have taken more art classes, but this is my first artistic outlet. And it has been pretty therapeutic. It’s nice to have something to talk about other than video games.
C: Where did the idea for collaging come from? Where do you draw your inspiration?
S: For each piece, it’s usually one or two pictures that I try to build around—one or two images that capture me. For my earlier stuff, I was just trying to make it as random as possible. I usually put five or six different items or categories. So I’ll put in rocks and gems, space, what I call “opulence”—cutouts of palaces and cathedrals—a lot of coral, and whatnot. I try to put those in each one. I do a lot around sailing—cutouts of sailboats and whatnot. The inspiration around each one is usually around one or two pictures that I’m trying to blend with colors and whatnot, but trying to stay within those categories.
C: How long have you been collaging?
S: Probably about two years now. It’s really surprising, the response—everybody saying they enjoy [my work] when there are so many trained artists out there, people who went to college for it. I was at an art show at The Metro and I felt out of place because I wasn’t sure if people would accept me into the art world. But everybody was really welcoming, so it’s been really nice.
C: You live close to Satellite?
S: Yeah, just a few blocks away. I’ve been there for about four years now. When I first moved up here I was in Logan Square, out West. It was a nice transition from where I was into the city because everything out there is a little more “yard and house” compared to over here. But it wasn’t too far into the city if you wanted to do anything. I did bike delivery for about two and a half years and now I’m working at a bowling alley. I’m a night mechanic over there. It’s been nice getting out of the Winter weather, delivering during that was a little brutal. I ride everywhere though—I’d like to deliver again, just because it’s nice to get paid to exercise and have time to think. But I don’t miss the cold weather.
C: Has living in the city—close to Uptown—affected your art in any way?
S: I think certainly being from Central Illinois has an influence. The area I’m in [currently], it’s nice when it’s not baseball season. I’m not a Cubs fan whatsoever. So when it’s game season I try to stay in as much as possible. But being in the city has certainly helped bring more art into my focus. I can appreciate stuff more—I go to the art museum quite frequently, which is always a good source of inspiration. In most of my pieces, I like to add art—I have a huge pile of paintings and art and stuff from different cultures, and I try to add that to everything too. I think since I’ve started making collages, and having this artistic outlet, it makes me appreciate art a lot more. When I first moved here and went to the art museum, I saw a lot of abstract art, and I was like, “what is this?” I didn’t understand it. But now that I’m collaging, I certainly appreciate it a lot more, and I’m seeing beauty in a lot more art. I think everybody needs an artistic outlet.
OverUnder is the moniker of Wrigleyville collage artist Sam Horner. Sam grew up amongst the corn fields of central Illinois and moved to Chicago in 2009 to experience the city life. All works start their lives as analog collages with material cut from countless books and magazines. (Seriously, He has too much material.) They are then uploaded to the world wide web, lightly edited, and through the power of social sites like Instagram, Redbubble, and Threadless, Sam has found immense fulfillment and happiness with being able to share his art with the world. Through that art, Sam hopes to bring a little Joy, Beauty, and Randomness into as many lives as possible. He thanks you for all support.