Miguel Saludes’s artistic philosophy is primarily driven by a passion for life, and a desire to embrace every moment of it before it expires. Saludes’ daily ruminations often include an apprehension towards disease and death and the uncertainty of what the days to come will bring upon him and his loved ones. Such fear has inculcated in him a desire to experience each day as a gift that must not be taken for granted. This resolve to live, as Saludes puts it, “authentically”, encourages him to appreciate the complex cosmos that life is by acknowledging the particles of happiness, self-fulfillment, and wakeful consciousness that can be found scattered along this short existence. Like minute nuggets of gold rushing down a fast moving stream, these precious moments can very easily slip past the grasp of inadvertent eyes. Saludes believes that unfortunately, we risk missing out on these moments as we lose ourselves in the endless cycle of routines and obligations that characterize our adult lives. Additionally, the incessant presence of violence, hate, anger, fear, and triviality around us serves to further erode and corrupt our experience of this life, and may drive us further away from appreciating those aspects in our lives, and within ourselves, which make us better, truer, happier versions of ourselves.
Seeking relief from these encapsulating routines, Saludes finds inspiration from his immediate surroundings. These include flowery fields found in unattended lawns around his neighborhood, natural scenes of his home state of Florida, and sights from a larger, more encompassing American landscape, which the artist enjoys experiencing in his travels. Combining memory and photographic documentation, Saludes pieces together compositions that capture the original subject in a new light. The creative process is often slow. For months at a time, Saludes obsesses over details, from the feathered curling outline of a cloud, to the vertical fissures defining the decaying bark of a tree trunk, to particles of sand sprinkling a cavernous canyon with light, to blades of grass shifting in the breeze, to subtle variations in hue within the whites, yellows, greens, and blues that populate many of his works.
Many of Saludes´ paintings are meditations on the fleetingness of life and the inevitability of death. His flower blooms and recurring images of snags and fallen trees are examples of how the artist experiences and internalizes the fluctuating processes of life and death in the natural world. His landscapes, which are often flooded with light and vibrant color schemes, inform us that Saludes is an optimist at heart. With every new work, he strives to extract beauty and meaning from even the darkest moments of his existence.