WE LOVE YOU. SOLO SHOW. Shanghai. China, 2010

ART in Capitals Gallery presents Spanish artist Salustiano’s first solo exhibition in China from January 14th to April 17th, 2011.

A graduate of the College of Fine Arts of the Universidad de Sevilla, Salustiano’s work has appeared in prestigious art communities throughout the world including New York, Tokyo, and Paris. He now brings his signature red palette to China’s most cosmopolitan city.
The Horatio collection is comprised of three works, all saturated in shades of red that somehow defy symbolism. When questioned about his choice of color, Salustiano simply says that red “is full of contradictions and intentions. Red has the power of going beyond its own color condition. It is more than a color; it is a symbol that provokes feelings of beauty, of absolute, of time absence, and tranquility.” It is this tranquility that shines through the faces of the oft young subjects of this collection. The red clad realism of the spiritually innocent figures struggle to separate themselves from their scarlet backgrounds through the use of taut brushstrokes and a complete lack of context.

Salustiano succeeds in eliminating any reference to time or place in his works, leaving the crimson youth to speak for themselves. This results in paintings that do not remind the viewer of anything, essentially leaving one without any anchor or cognitive framework with which to label them. The remoteness of the visages that seem to float in an endless landscape of burgundy mean that Salustiano’s works simply convey the emotions of those looking at them, never the emotions of the artist himself. The viewer projects his or her own lived experiences onto the painted faces, faces that sometimes portray a severeness, sometimes a remoteness, but always an irony within the lifelike eyes.
All this self-interpretation is not to say, however, that Saulstiano can in any way be categorized as an abstract artist. Instead, for every torso stripped of external meaning, there is a quaint smile that hearkens back to classicism or a pair of cupid bow lips reminiscent of the Renaissance.