Guest Artist Solo Exhibition | Jackson, WY
From abstraction, the figures emerge—an aesthetic resolution achieved by chance or by force, his attempt to resolve the boundaries of his skills as a recent, untutored artist. After many years appreciating contemporary and modern art, the idea of Salto emerged five years ago as the artistic alter ego of an entrepreneur living in New York City and Lost Creek, Wyoming. Befitting the Spanish translation of “salto” – to jump - he has practiced a random, ever- shifting interest and interpretation of the styles of his favorite artists, dead or alive.
Jackson Pollock inspired his first venture into painting, and continues to influence his easel-defying technique of working above the canvas on the floor or a tabletop. After several months of Pollockian exploration of dripping and throwing paint, his effort diverged through random episodes and accidents:
- He removed unwanted paint bubbles by blowing on them. His wife, finding the practice obnoxious, gave him a blow dryer. Beyond popping bubbles, it became a mechanism to blow and run paint in haphazard, biomorphic states – a new style.
- Once, the dryer blew too much paint to the edge of the canvas. He forced it to the center by turning and whacking the canvas on the table. This discovered technique, coupled with thicker splatter, resulted in blocky paint runs resembling New Mexican mesas - another new style!
- Later on a whim, an old license plate found in the garage was employed to stamp lines in and around the runs. The surprise result – a satisfying angularity to the drip and “blow” paintings. Another style, “found”.
Now, artists’ works he most admires serve as points of departure with the expectation that chance, fault, and imperfection will take flight in a “random” work.
Many paintings evolve as “rescues,” works that once encountered a roadblock where, uncertain of a next step, he is unable to proceed. So, they are put aside, demoted to the “stacks" for weeks, months, longer. With time, a strategy evolved to thwart such stasis: sporadically review the orphaned works, search for figures in the abstraction, then build a new composition from its alleged humanism.
For Salto, the intensity of balancing business and a desire to paint creates a productive friction. He paints in the little free time he has available: mornings, nights, weekends. Colorblind, he works in tonal directions, often enhancing figures from swaths of white. If worked in the low light of night, the colors wash out and his concentration is with line, contrast.
Save for an instinct to indulge the accident, there are no rules around his effort. Staging his debut at Altamira marks a confluence of two identities and another step into chance.
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