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Disarmingly honest and releasing

Acquaintance

Andrew Salgado’s art settles in Regina

Article: Lauren Neumann – Contributor

Eight immense paintings enveloped in layers of oil paint and seeping with emotion line the inside of The Regina Art Gallery this month. These works are the product of Regina-born and internationally renowned artist, Andrew Salgado, debuting his collection in his first museum show at the gallery.

Andrew Salgado’s “The Acquaintance” graced the gallery’s walls at the beginning of October – his departure collection making its homecoming to the very building that the artist first began his work. The show runs until Nov. 22.

“He’s been coming here for years,” says gallery curator Karen Schoonover. “As a kid, it was always his dream to have a show in this space.”

The title “The Acquaintance” drew its inspiration from the Sinead O’Conner song The Last Day of Our Acquaintance. The word “acquaintance” is traditionally tied with fickle relationships with those who are still somewhat of a stranger in peoples’ lives, sharing few intimate connections. With Salgado’s work, he takes this idea further with acquaintance meaning the ending of relationships once shared.

“The paintings are all about getting to know someone and then letting go,” says Schoonover.

Instead of his paintings being of people that he knew closely, Salgado departed from his previous approach to his subjects and went a different route with this collection. His subjects are people he knew marginally or met on the street. Inviting them into his studio, getting to know them and photograph them, he then intuitively cloaks his canvas in paint, creating an abstraction that embodies the essence of the figures.

“I find his work disarmingly honest. The honesty is how he reveals how he works. You can see the brush strokes, you can see the layers of paint, you can see the energy that went into it. He’s showing you all about the model and all about his process.” 

His collection features eight paintings of men done in oil and spray paint in the style of modern realism. While the paintings seem as though they are portraits of these men, the image of the man in each painting is but a starting point for his creations. With little information, Salgado tells you about the character in the situation of the figure being represented. With the expression in their faces and eyes, there exudes a raw emotion and vulnerability that men in the past aren’t typically portrayed with having.

“I find his work disarmingly honest,” remarks Schoonover. “The honesty is how he reveals how he works. You can see the brush strokes, you can see the layers of paint, you can see the energy that went into it. He’s showing you all about the model and all about his process.”

Currently living in London, Salgado flew home to Regina to join his collection. The artist spoke of his work on Monday night at The Regina Art Gallery with a reception for “The Acquaintance” the following day. For a 30-year-old prairie boy and an essentially emerging artist, his success with his bold body of work is remarkable. His art is even displayed globally.

A good work ethic and talent birth success, Andrew Salgado possesses both birthed a child of powerful artwork and a bright future.

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