Sam Gambino grew up with kustom kulture art as the son of an original 1956 Detroit, Michigan pinstriper. He has a great love and appreciation for vintage ad art; so much so that much of his art is sometimes mistaken to be 40 or 50 years old.
He has created comic panels for King Features Syndicate’s New Breed comic strip and shown his work in gallery art shows inside and outside of the United States. Working primarily in enamels, he also uses 23 carat gold leaf in much of his art. In addition, he creates digital and pen and ink art. His subject matter many times includes campy, vintage and kitschy cult characters - usually with a different spin than one would expect to see with these personalities. He designed the Sam’s Shrunken Head and Sam’s Dinky Noggin mugs by Tiki Farm; the 2007 tiki mug for the legendary Sam’s Seafood Restaurant in Huntington Beach, California; and Mort, Maury and Merv - the Bowling Moai Brothers mugs and decanter by Tiki Farm. There is also a line of his vintage style tin and wooden pub signs which are sold in stores worldwide.
On any given day, you can find him combing junk stores, thrift shops and flea markets. He seeks inspiration by collecting unique relics and old instructional books anywhere they can be found.