Souther Salazar’s inventive dreamscapes are both childlike and sophisticated.
SOUTHER SALAZAR at Narwhal Art Projects (2988 Dundas West) to July 15. 647-346-5317. See listing. Rating: NNNN
Childhood is a rich source of intuitive imagery, but rarely is it mined with Souther Salazar's visually inventive charm. You And Me And The Mouse In The Moon is a series of Salazar's paintings based on his own poetic writings.
As a California teenager in the 90s, Salazar made cut-and-paste zines un-til attending art school in Pasadena. Since then, his bricolage aesthetic has morphed into paintings of kooky storybook dreamscapes populated with all manner of amorphous and curious beings.
Two space-suited figures float hand in hand against a starry eggplant-coloured sky over a city of happy protoplasmic buildings and animals. Constellations of geometric shapes and starry jellyfish swirl around a satellite moon housing the mouse of the show's title. In A Secret Bridge Slowly Unfolds, a couple looks across a plum-coloured valley where the bridge - a fine latticework of improbable white lines - recedes and wends its ways toward a distant rising sun with rainbow-coloured rays.
Salazar's effectiveness stems partly from his grab bag of sources: fine art, illustration and pop culture. A nod to Saul Bass's vintage graphic design elegance rubs up against forms inspired by primitive and outsider art, Paul Klee's cartoons and the odd collage element. Despite the show's overall tone of simple, wide-eyed wonder, each image is a finely tuned balancing act of shape, form and colour.
The result is magical.