Make It Real.

Consider this another heads up to our Los Angeles people.
Souther Salazar has a show up right now at GR2 that is totally worth checking out and worth the trip out to Sawtelle. It's different to the other show of his I have seen-only six large paintings. Usually there's piles of stuff, in many shapes and sizes and materials, all hammered, glued, and hanging off the walls-going into the gallery space always feels like going into a really awesome tree house or something.
These new paintings are fantastic. Maybe the best work he's ever done. They're large paintings, with a rich texture of roughly drawn characters and beautifully intricate landscapes over really bold blocks of color. Standing in the gallery I half wished no one was in there so I could get a better look at them. They deserve to be viewed in the flesh at actual size.
Content wise, Souther seems to be refining a lot of the ideas he has been processing for awhile now. Often when Souther's work is discussed words like 'whimsy' and 'dreaminess' are thrown around and how they are fun and decorative and just plain pretty they are to look at. Which I guess is true, but what is rarely discussed is the conflicted nature of the work. The artwork has a certain sadness that permeates the flights of fancy and goofy charm. Because while a lot of the content is an externalization of childhood concerns of impossible imaginary worlds and escapism, they are layered with the ditrus of childhood to such an extent to be almost sculpted. And often an individual piece is so densely layered, it's almost like you've found the piece at the bottom of a dumpster perfectly put together.
The sentiment being that all your fond memories, all your cherished dreams and possessions, all that you hold so dear, are kinda worthless. Because glued down within the paintings are scraps of things that were once sombody's and eventually thrown out, sold at a garage sale, or given to Goodwill. But that negative sentiment is always counterbalanced by the sheer kinetic energy of the work, the love of drawing and making stuff thats apparent on each piece, as if to say, okay, its all worthless garbage, but I am gonna take all this shit and put it together again so it means something now, and not just as memory and scraps of nostalgia, but something new.
It's awesome work thats often profound. You should check it out.

posted by sammy at 9:29 PM

Blogger ctorre said...

they remind me of some great painting of old, like one of those layered things where you could take a detail of it, a little portion, and have that be a painting itself. but then you pull back and there's a whole other world connected to it.

12:09 PM  

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