Sam is based in Los Angeles, CA
Connect directly: email@example.com
For commissions, Sam is represented by Josette Lata Represents:
Sam Comen is a Los Angeles-based photographer whose documentary, editorial, and commercial photographs appear in national publications, advertisements, and institutions.
Sam specializes in shooting environmental portraits of everyday heroes as well as actors, musicians, leaders, and artists.
As a native Californian (and Angeleno), Sam has used his home state as a muse throughout his career, and often looks to the places that define us for inspiration. He’s most notably brought this site-specific approach to his series Lost Hills, which captures contemporary issues of immigration and labor in a small farmworker town in California’s Central Valley, while contextualizing people and place within the shared American narrative of the “Okies” flight to the same dusty plains 80 years ago.
In addition to Lost Hills, Comen has produced photographic essays in Los Angeles’ historically-significant neighborhood of Watts; along Central Avenue, the core of South-Central Los Angeles; and within a Los Angeles-based activist network of young undocumented immigrants, or DREAMers.
Most recently, his collaboration portraying newly naturalized US citizens The Newest Americans was staged as an exhibition at The California Museum, and is currently touring the country through 2022.
Sam’s work will be included in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s triennial portrait show (on view 2019-2021,) and he has been awarded a prize for excellence from the show’s curators. It’s his second time showing at the Portrait Gallery – his first in the 2017-2018 exhibition The Sweat of Their Face: Portraying American Workers. His photographs have been collected by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and private collectors, and he is regularly commissioned by brands and magazines internationally.
EXHIBITIONS & COLLECTIONS
The Outwin 2019: American Portraiture Today; group exhibition, National Portrait Gallery, curator Taína Caragol, Washington, DC (2019)
The Newest Americans; solo exhibition, The California Museum, curator Amanda Meeker, Sacramento, CA (2018)
The Sweat of their Face: Portraying American Workers; group exhibition, National Portrait Gallery, curator Dorothy Moss, Washington, DC (2018)
The Future of LA; group exhibition, Grand Park, curator Maren Levinson, Los Angeles, CA (2018)
LACMA; selections from 'Lost Hills' acquired by permanent collection, curator Britt Salvesen (2016)
Portraits of Compassion, three artist show, presented by California Community Foundation, Plaza De Cultura y Artes, Los Angeles, CA (2016)
Both Sides of Sunset: Photographing LA, group exhibition, Kopeikin Galley, Culver City, CA (2015)
Manifest Justice, group show, organized by Yosi Sergant, presented by Amnesty Int'l, Los Angeles, CA (2015)
The Valley/El Valle, group show, San Francisco City Hall, curator Ann Jastrab, presented by the San Francisco Arts Commission (2014)
Kern County at a Distance, three artist show, Bakersfield Museum of Art, curator Vikki Cruz (2014)
Passing Through, L.A. Union Station 75th Anniversary, public lightbox installation, commissioned by L.A. County MTA (2014)
Critical Mass, group show, Corden|Potts Gallery, curator Jessica Johnston of George Eastman House, San Francisco, CA (2013)
Central Avenue: A Community Album, solo show, Central Avenue Jazz Festival, Los Angeles, CA (2012)
28 at 28, solo exhibition, NextSpace LA, Culver City, CA (2011)
A Place in the Sun, group show, Month of Photo LA, curator Audrey Landreth, Los Angeles, CA (2011)
Hayley Fox, "The Newest Americans Highlights Immigrant Stories in the Age of Trump" GoodMagazine.com (2018)
Shana Nys Dambrot, "The Newest Americans" Vice.com (2017)
“Valley Edition,” live radio interview with Joe Moore on KVPR, Central California NPR (2014)
Camille Gavin,”Of Luck and Lost Hills at BMoA,” The Bakersfield Californian (2014)
Miranda Whitworth, “Found in Lost Hills: Struggle, but Also Joy,” The Bakersfield Californian (2013)
Cindy Y. Rodriguez, “Undocumented Youth: A Dream Deferred,” CNN Photos(2013)
Adam McCauley, “Bridging Eras: Photographer Sam Comen’s…Lost Hills” TIME’s LightBox(2013)
Shana Nys Dambrot, “Skid Row and Central Avenue’s Culture-Based Activism,” KCET Artbound (2012)
Jeff Zuschlag, “Photographer of the Week,” Resource Magazine(2012)
Veronica Villafañe, “Photo Retrospective…Central Avenue,” USC Annenberg Intersections South LA(2012)
Caitlin Shamberg, “Photographs: Central Avenue 1940s to Present,” KCRW Which Way LA? (2012)
James Brasuell, “Exploring Central-Adams from 1940s to Today,” Curbed LA(2012)
José Martinez, “Weeklong photo exhibition to shine spotlight on Central Avenue,” KPCC On Central(2012)
Aline Smithson, “Sam Comen,” Lenscratch (2011)
Bryan Formhals, “28 at 28: An Ongoing Annual Portrait Series,” La Pura Vida (2011)
72andSunny, Airbnb, AOL Music, Billboard, Businessweek, Canon, Comcast, COMPLEX, DETAILS, Distro, Dreamworks, Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, Fast Company, Fortune, Garnier, Glamour, GREY, Hewlett-Packard, Huffington, Inc., K Swiss, Latina Magazine, Los Angeles Magazine, Los Angeles Department of Transportation, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, MTV, Maxim, Men's Health, Money, Newsweek, Nylon, Oakley, Paramount Pictures, People, Proctor & Gamble, Psychology Today, Publicis North America, Quick + Simple, Rolling Stone, TIME, TV Land, TeamOne, The Hollywood Reporter, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, TruTV, Variety, VICE, WIRED.