Thursday Salute to Originals: Giant Mixed Media Stories

One of the cool things about art? Multiple interpretations. The phrase “larger than life” can take on both literal and figurative meanings. Canadian figurative painter Andrew Saldago‘s works exemplify this concept, combining reality and imagination in a whirlwind effect of color and scale. His staggering oversized masterpieces utilize mixed media to create powerful stories infused with vibrancy.

Salgado’s recent portrait series towers over 8 feet tall, each part of the series considered a “mixed media painting”. His works intertwine several different media, like oil pastels, paperback books, and other found objects displayed on the canvas – as seen in his piece Soft Cage (pictured below). However, Salgado prefers not to call his art “portraits,” because, after all, they are “stories” with a strong connotation of an unfolding process.

“Soft Cage” by Andrew Salgado

One of Salgado’s favorite techniques in this series is cross-hatching, which he uses to give the stories a uniquely hurried texture. While he uses other various techniques borrowed from traditional oil painting, he makes noted effort to include his own splashes, motifs, and abstract shapes. Also contributing to the depth of each story are the contrasting bold colors that draw our eyes to the different segments of the work – each curiously different. Simultaneously, as the texture becomes deeper, the art allows us to take a step further inside the artist’s mind, to ponder the “complexity of the human condition” he sees.

This week, we salute Andrew Salgado for delving into the realm of “larger than life” in size, color, and content. His huge and vibrant mixed media portraits are far more than just bold color and objects, giving us the freedom to derive our own interpretations from a complex narrative. And though the results are complex, sometimes the inspiration isn’t. Perhaps we should take a hint from Andrew on finding inspiration in the everyday: “Sometimes it’s a conversation; a song; a poem; a memory; or even silly things…”

Sources: Andrew Salgado, This is Colossal, Something About Magazine, Wonderland Magazine