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  • Written by: Sydney Cooper

Into the Mind of McCurdy's Intimate Art With Mystery

Photography by: @KatieMcCurdy_

For five years, Philadelphia native Samantha McCurdy has been mimicking intimate parts of the human body with her 3-D works (known to her as “snugs”).

While McCurdy was an undergraduate student in Baltimore, she painted two dimensionally on canvas. After finishing a project, McCurdy would have to store her artwork in her parent’s house. With this came a positive direction in her creativity.

“My parents are not artists,” McCurdy said. “They never framed or properly stored my paintings so I had to always keep fixing them. That pushed me to begin intentionally poking things through canvas then eventually spandex.”

Those who have the opportunity to feast their eyes upon McCurdy’s work in person, they are always curious to what is protruding behind her paintings.

“For me it has always been about the front of the snug,” McCurdy said. "But viewers were so curious about the internal structure, that made me think about the guts of the piece or object as a whole."

Photography by: Shayna Fontana

McCurdy enjoys keeping the intimacy of her pieces alive, especially when it comes to projects like her creating a boner in sweatpants or cold nipples under a white t-shirt. The only hint McCurdy gives, is that she uses material barriers to create false intimacy.

McCurdy considers her 3-D painting style to be minimal and bodily. Her projects average between four and six feet and 11 inches to two feet wide. Color in McCurdy’s work has been influenced by her experience with various fashion seasons, and “random things” such as a friend dyeing her hair lavender and pairing it with an army green.

“I don’t let anyone dictate my color palette,” McCurdy said.

The inspiration for McCurdy’s art form started with the way her parent’s stored her art. Since McCurdy describes herself as “social”, she finds her muse by observing interactions between individuals. Later in her career, McCurdy got into set design.

Photography by: Shayna Fontana

As her work progressed from isolated snugs to groups, she began working with magazines, building sets for their covers and creating installations for featured covers.

“Many people see art just like any other luxury item so I began to present my art in similar ways on similar platforms,” McCurdy said.

With McCurdy’s involvement in the fashion community for 10 years and her time as a personal stylist at TENOVERSIX, she stays connected to the world of fashion.

McCurdy is not just a still 3-D painter, she has taken her work and given it life. On her personal website, you can see projects in short films.

“I wanted to add an element of movement to my art,” McCurdy said.

With all the experience and exposure, McCurdy has successfully opened two different galleries. While she still lived in Texas, McCurdy opened her first gallery in Dallas. However, since she moved to California five months ago, McCurdy opened her current gallery in Los Angeles called That, That Gallery, the first show was in April.

McCurdy’s plans for the near future is to have art installed in the Standard Hotel in Hollywood and to have a new show at That, That Gallery, in August.

Photography by: Shayna Fontana


Instagram: @durdymccurdy

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