Formula: Origin Story

Formula, a compelling work within the Shadow Self Series, was created in collaboration with a model who deeply understands and appreciates contemporary art. 

The model, a rugby player, brought unique energy and direction to the painting, having worked with Sammie Kyng on Quench, the first piece created within her Shadow Self Series.

The creation of Formula involved the dramatic act of dramatically dumping milk into the model's mouth, a reference to the model's rugby club initiation. This symbolic act of joining a brotherhood, aimed to capture a torrent of emotions, from struggle to release and ultimate belonging.

The photo shoot took place in Kyng’s Minneapolis studio, with a black screen set up as a stark opposite to the polar white outside of a snowy Minnesota winter day. The garage door of her studio was open in order to capture the model in natural light. 

Unfortunately the weather that day was a frigid 32 degrees below freezing.

“I love natural light” says Kyng, “I saw the profoundness of it every year when I commissioned natural light photos of my three children as they were growing up. I have a vast appreciation for artists committed to working in natural light.”

Despite the freezing weather, the model stood shirtless and shoeless, at the open door of the studio. 

“He was a champion!” exclaims Kyng. “He braved the below-zero weather as milk splattered and flowed over his face, all while maintaining intense focus on the camera lens. I of course was outside shooting him, but I wore a protective outer layer. He truly gave of himself for art!”

Active participation and understanding of the artistic vision, from the model, truly impacted the ultimate creative. He almost directed the shoot himself, making the process a true collaboration.

Post-shoot, Kyng and the model continued to dialogue as the artwork evolved. This collaboration moved the piece forward in a way that both the artist and the model felt like partners on a journey of a truly original creation.

It is not necessarily required to receive ongoing input from a model for Kyng to develop her work. However she welcomes model collaboration from those who are truly vested in the creative process.

Formula, by Sammie Kyng, began with a concept of a bold concept for composition. The partnership between model and artist truly demonstrates the power of a collaborative art creation.


Back to blog