Artist commentary about the exhibition "The Stories Within"
Art Center Sarasota, 2020
Miguel Saludes’ artistic ideology is especially influenced by his life story as a Cuban-born immigrant coerced by his inherent government to immigrate to the United States. After arriving in Miami, FL as a teenager with his family, he quickly learned to love and appreciate life in his adoptive nation. This love has prompted Saludes to portray in many of his works a vivid and tangible vision of the American landscape, inspired by the same susceptibility and attention for detail that has driven generations of Cuban artists before him to paint their native homeland. An obsession with American art history has compelled the artist to seek further inspiration from the works of painters such as Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry, Georgia O’Keefe, Wayne Thiebaud, Grant Wood, Andrew Wyeth, and photographer Ansel Adams, whom individually sought to illustrate their own idyllic and pastoral views of the American countryside.
Following in their footsteps, Saludes has set out to capture the landscape of his home state of Florida; only the beginning of an ambitious artistic vision to depict other regions of the United States. Saludes’ paintings are based on first-hand experiences of real locations he has frequented. These carefully selected sites offer the artist a familiar space where he finds asylum from the chaos of everyday life. His current works present his audience with close-up, intimate depictions of wild flowers blossoming in highway medians and unattended lawns, vast prairies, woodlands, in addition to other natural settings. The incandescent South Florida sunlight that bathes many of these subjects has inspired the artist to capture warm tonalities and polychromatic color schemes in many of his paintings. Viscous, undissolved oil paint is the artist’s favored means to capture physical and multi-layered compositions, which serves to record the daunting and labor-intensive task that is to paint the complexities of nature. The canvas, ultimately, offers Saludes an ideal platform to alleviate his creative fervor, and to assert his being in this temporal world.
Artist commentary about the exhibition "American Rural Idylls", curated by Henry Ballate
Kendall Art Center | video credit: Angeles Productions 2018