Art in Quarantine: Sam Della-Valle

Updated: Apr 19

by Sam Della-Valle

"It’s become a good isolation act to spin lounge questions at a hunk of naked aggressive play-fighters, and trying my best to get what it might look like out."

“War is as colourful as a puddle under a prism.”


So it was put very bluntly by a now-anonymous soldier. Another soldier, equally as unhappily anonymous, put it longer, while holed up and going-bongo. He went:


“Do war-hours fly, ef planes floundering ponce’ the sky,

Knee-doubling with every cannon flut, and keeping dials with a eye.

If his red feet’re drier than mine, when clocks strut the moon,

We’ll swap a puddle amongst the holes, pick fibbingnotplatoon.

Scribble nibble sicksafe tank! and ink gets yuck my hair,

His corner pace drives goose gulps prickles ding about his lair.

You’re my dead, not his, I shout and poke, and meddle at the slain,

I’ll let my Judy in on everything, when at poor end’s end again.”


It’s a really nice poem, even if the poor shooter who wrote it probably had tons of nasty thoughts about picking apart faces with metal, and probably hated his muddy nails more than any other person imaginable. I’m doubtless that armies spend more time looking down than up, no matter how many inventions keep the sky busy.


And so do these shaky plonters, all supposed to be doing or redoing battles, dressed for fruit fights in big fights where splatters and sweat go noticed. The men and women here are fighting in the outfits they’d get if they won, and thinking about the things their partners think of when asked to not think about them.


These drawings get made on the floor, where someone writhing in big death anxiety and fear of the fear thinks about how much nicer a shield could be if it just had a naughty face on it, or what riding a horse drunk might compare, or what dreams come flashing back dejavually when sitting near dead people. It’s become a good isolation act to spin lounge questions at a hunk of naked aggressive play-fighters, and trying my best to get what it might look like out.

Sam Della-Valle is the third child of an illustrious family. He lives in a wooden house near Michigan with his four children, wife (mother of three), and basset-hound Isabelle. He has authored three memoirs detailing the first three years of his life. His work can be found at https://www.samdellavalle.com/

The Radical Art Review is a non-profit cooperative platform fuelled purely by people power for those who think art holds the potential for social transformation. We publish the thoughts, philosophies, and stories of all who dare to dissent. We seek to inform, to empower, and to dream collectively of a better tomorrow.

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  © The Radical Art Review 2020