“The story is that I was late rushing home to meet with Sam and discuss commissioning a work from him and I didn’t have any ideas. As I was getting out of the cab I thought about one of my favorite scenes from the move the Seven Samurai, where the poor samurai is having to chop wood to pay for his lunch, and when asked what he is doing by another Samurai he jokes, ‘I’m from the wood chopping school of Samurai.’ When they make the decision to add him to the group, the leader says something along the lines of, ‘for a difficult quest like ours, it’s just as important to have someone who is always in good spirits and funny as it is to have someone who is a great warrior.’ I talked about wanting to also get a tattoo of this scene. Sam loves Seven Samurai too and we talked about what we liked about the movie and how it was influenced by US Westerns and how in turn it influenced Western directors to rethink westerns. He ended up using our conversation as inspiration to do a much bigger piece, showing Seven Samurai alongside the US movie, Magnificent Seven, a Western, that was inspired by Seven Samurai. Which is really cool because the director, Kurosawa, was inspired by US westerns to make Seven Samurai in the first place. Since his inspiration was different from the wood chopping scene, Sam promised to do a separate work of the wood chopping samurai scene which I could get as a tattoo… which he is still in the works to do. It will be a much smaller piece.”
UNTITLED (SEVEN SAMURAI), 2012.
Collection of Sean Burke, Peter Cooper Village, NY.