by Andrew Salgado
My practice explores the correlation between the concept of masculinity and the properties of the medium; generally based in paint, at times my practice also incorporates video, text, sculpture, performance, and paper-based work. The objective of this pursuit is to challenge a perspective of identity through heightened, purposefully self-aware representation, in which these representations refer to their own physicality and question their legitimacy and even the very nature of my practice. The approach taken toward my practice is largely the result of a cathartic incident in 2008, in which a hate-crime assault led to a fascination with the notion that substance might overcome the limitations of its physicality – and that my perspective might transcend solipsism and approach the political. The propulsion for my work is the notion that identity may be (de/re)constructed as a politically charged confrontation of Self.
I am interested in how my paintings might operate independently from their literal figurative foundation and engage with an exploration of color, reduction of forms, and triumph of substance as imbued with meaning and metaphor, overt, and suggestive. My practice is a process encumbered by the reduction of literalness in preference of a sensual and topographical painted surface. Through this process of discovery, I hope to create work that engages with a continuously forming language of painting and representation. By drawing attention to the tangibility of the work, I introduce extra-diegetic readings, pulling the viewer from the sutures of the represented subject and inviting readings beyond the confines of the painted picture.
With each successive work, I hope to draw attention to the painterly versus the formal, predominating the medium as integral to the understanding and formation of my work, and referencing painting as both ‘act’ and ‘medium’. Through my treatment of form and content, I ask the viewer to consider the technical aspects of my paintings, but also the metaphorical role that media assumes in my work, and finally the relationship of my paintings to a greater narrative and mythology, in which each subject is related to ideas of psyche and convalescence. As a result, my work often uses personal history to approach universal themes, and a politics that I view as deeply personal, yet resoundingly human.