Le Loup


During certain periods in life, creativity goes beyond serving as an outlet for dealing with stress, beyond being a welcome distraction, and becomes a compulsion. It is at this moment, when creation starts to bridge the gap between superfluity and intrinsic necessity, that some of the best art is realized. For Sam Simkoff, the creative force behind Le Loup, a similar cathartic tumult resulted in The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' Millennium Assembly.

Created during a time of personal crisis, The Throne is a cataclysm, an escape, and a journey. Inspired largely by Dante's Inferno (also a journey conceived by a man in a time of crisis), here an emotional catacomb is traversed circle by circle. From Dante come apocalyptic scenes, rendered from personal feelings of hopelessness and impending disaster. Descent and escape are the central themes of "canto i" and "canto xxxvi", which take their titles from the first and last chapters of the Inferno, respectively.

Simkoff encountered the works of both Dante and another artist, James Hampton, during the initial writing of the record. The Throne takes its title from a piece of folk art that was meticulously built over the course of nearly fifteen years by Hampton, starting in the '50s. An engulfing homage to another heavenly realm, Hampton was a harried, outsider artist who kept his work a secret in a shed adjacent to his home. Consisting of 177 individual pieces that were painstakingly assembled from everyday objects, Hampton's throne became a delicate shrine to the transcendent.