Leigh Salgado

blooming

Press Release/Statement

LAUNCH LA is proud to present two new solo exhibitions, Blissful Deflowering by Leigh Salgado and Wild is the Wind by Rochelle Botello. Curated by artist Marion Lane, both artists have a similar unplanned, intuitive approach. Their creative impulses and inspirations however lead them to strikingly different results.

By placing both bodies of work in close proximity allows viewers to pick out their similarities, their differences and enjoy art in their own fashion; whether it be through an deeply intellectual exploration of metaphor or a simple and liberating indulgence of their senses. Both artists share a labor intensive meditative process that leads them into the work… a playful yet diligent method of addition and subtraction that directs them to the final piece.

Leigh Salgado’s Blissful Deflowering possesses a dazzling level of complexity. Beautiful, layered lace-like patterns unfold in a bewildering profusion of shapes, rendered in a soft palette of muted pinks, reds, yellows and hydrangea blues. The intricacy of patterns in her work is such that most first time viewers assume that Salgado uses mechanical means to cut paper, yet Salgado’s tool of choice is the exacto knife – allowing her to excise unwanted negative space like a surgeon removing foreign objects from a body.

Each work entails countless hours of drawing, cutting and painting in sections which grow organically to take up the entirety of the material. The surfaces that remain after cutting receive just as much attention; they are painted, scraped and singed with a wood burning tool to create the perfect blend of textures. By hanging some of her works away from the wall, these pieces gain an extra layer, a sort of ‘shadow drawing’ on the wall behind. For these works, Salgado often paints their backs, letting this color reflect onto the wall- a technique she discovered through accident and experimentation.

Salgado’s art swerves between the abstraction and realism: at times her patterns take on the guise of floral arrangements, netting, ornamented gowns and lingerie, fused into one anomalous whole. Her most recent art explores the topic of femininity through objects that acquired special significance in her progress from girlhood to womanhood. The delicate lace-work, entrapping netting and restrictive chain-link patterns lend her work a rich store of allegorical possibilities. Salgado provides a starting point for our interpretations: “My work is about persistence in the spite of the impossibility of perfection.” Her process certainly entails an abundance of persistence – with wondrous results.

Leigh Salgado is a nationally exhibiting artist based in Los Angeles. Her undergraduate studies were in Painting, Sculpture and Graphic Arts at UCLA. Her Master’s Degree is in Clinical Art Therapy from Loyola Marymount University. After practicing art therapy professionally for several years, she renewed her fine art studies at the Santa Monica College of Design, Art & Architecture.

Her work is currently being exhibited at the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX. She has had solo exhibitions at the Patricia Correia Gallery at Bergamot Station, Coagula Projects and Crazy Space. She has also exhibited at San Francisco’s The Museum of Craft & Design, Coagula Curatorial, Beacon Arts Building, Den Contemporary Art, the Vincent Price Art Museum, La Luz De Jesus Gallery, Wignall Museum, Kansas City’s Greenlease Gallery and other venues.

ARTIST STATEMENT

My work involves a labor-intensive process of cutting paper by hand. My process also makes use of my painting and drawing skills.

Subtraction is a key element as much of the paper is removed. Collage and layers that add dimensionality to the surface also appear at times. Sometimes the works are hung away from the wall so that the shadows add another layer or “drawing” on the wall.

The finished art works resemble a range of many things: lace, netting, fabrics, metal and articles of clothing. Both abstraction and figurative elements make up the imagery.

The current work includes an ongoing interest in subjects and forms that have associations developed during my girlhood and womanhood.

What drives me: Attraction to patterns, fabric, fashion objects, elaborate ornamentation and respect for labor. My work is about persistence in spite of the impossibility of perfection. My memories, experiences and women who have formed my worldview are present in the work.

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