Saturday, April 23, 2011

3 recent pantings (AZ Biennial entries)

Here's the work I submitted for the Arizona Biennial 2011, taking place at the Tucson Museum of Art.  My work didn't make the cut this year, so I'll share it with you before the actual Biennial. Brief commentary appears under each painting (all images and concepts (c) Howard Salmon)
"Hello, World" (2011), Acrylic on canvas
"Hello, World" is a painting that is about Facebook.  The characters in this painting are based on some photos of a party that I found on Facebook. The image shows a couple showing the world that they're having a lot of fun, but as you can see from the dark background, they're actually quite alone. Something fascinates me about Facebook: people broadcasting their lives (Hey, I'm no different; blogging does the same thing) I added the big orange hand in the foreground holding the camera; the "flash" is what illuminates the painting. The title refers the the first exercise you learn when you're studying computer programming: how to create the phrase "Hello, World".

"Meta-Comix" (2011) Acrylic & collaged drawings on canvas
"Meta-Comix" is a combination of three separate works: a psychedelic self portrait drawn with assorted felt markers on paper; a comic book drawing on cardboard made of ink, graphite, felt marker, and crayon; and in the background, an acrylic painting of some imagined rocky landscape, as viewed from the interior of a red chunk cave. I also pasted on a word balloon that contain a design made of a word balloon motif. This picture is all four separate sources of comics (from my own portfolio) coming together to create a work about art and comix: Comics within comics within comics. Why am I doing this? I thought it looked cool! But you can have fun relating the parts of this painting to each other. It holds together, it's interesting, I like it.

"A Cowboy and his horse mosey through Modern Art History" (2011) Acrylic & Permanent Marker on canvas
"A Cowboy and His Horse Mosey through Modern Art History" is another older work that I went back into and changed completely. Originally, this picture was a magic marker drawing on canvas, and then colored in with acrylic paint. I original image was a cartoon cowboy standing next to his horse, drawn in a very loose and cartoony way. I then went back into it, combining and joining lines in the picture into bigger shapes,  breaking the old image apart. I went back into painting, using the existing painting as a ground, with little regard the the imagery that was already there, but still allowing some of the old history of the work to peek through.  It's flat, it's surreal, it's non-objective (in places), it's "pop" (in it's cartoony quality), and it's also cowboy art! I really think that this piece is great.

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