New works in the Metropolis Summer Salon

Steve Salo, 4 January 2015

I’ve never had such an exciting start to a year. First up, four new works in the Metropolis Gallery Summer Salon from 12 Jan until 28 Feb, to be followed by my solo exhibition Passerby from 7-21 March.

Metropolis kicks off every new year with a bumper Summer Salon show of many artists represented at the gallery. My works in the show were painted in 2014 and include ‘Woman From the Dream’, ‘Musica Autem Tibia’ (Musician of the Flutes), ‘Mona’ and ‘I Never Promised You a Rose Garden’. I’ve included images and my thoughts on each of the works below.

The gallery is located in the Geelong arts precinct at 64 Ryrie Street.

Woman from the Dream

Steve Salo, Woman from the dream

Steve Salo, ‘Woman From the Dream’, oil on canvas, 40.5 x 50.5 cm

‘Woman From the Dream’ is one of my deeper works. The painting came almost a year after I had a strong vision of a woman in a dream. In the dream she had a lot of green in her face and a deep stare, not a troubling stare but more like she was trying to tell me something.

Musica Autem Tibia (Musician of the Flutes)

Steve Salo, Musica Autem Tibia

Steve Salo, ‘Musica Autem Tibia’ — after van Dyck, oil on canvas, 122 x 122 cm. SOLD

With ‘Musica Autem Tibia’ (Musician of the Flutes) I challenged myself to reinterpret a master’s traditional portrait in a contemporary way. I based this on the painting titled ‘Nicholas Lanier’ by Van Dyck. It took me almost two months of contemplation to decide on the final strokes and marks I would give the painting. It was thrilling when they worked.


Steve Salo, Working on Mona

Steve Salo working on ‘Mona’

Steve Salo, Mona

Detail in ‘Mona’

Steve Salo, Mona

Steve Salo, ‘Mona’ — after da Vinci, acrylic on canvas, 120 x 160 cm. Artist’s collection

Da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’ is such an iconic painting, her face the best known of any portrait. Have I defaced her? Or am I trying to make a statement that a painting, glorified and heavily discussed for centuries, may also be able to handle a critique from an artist 500 years later, who believes this was really just a painting of an ordinary human.

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden

Steve Salo, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden

Steve Salo, ‘I Never Promised You a Rose Garden’, oil and ink on board, 53.5 x 65 cm. SOLD

Is ‘Rose Garden’ beauty or pain or both? Have I subconsciously tried to paint many women today who suffer mentally when those around them expect perfection? Are the strong colours used and purposely placed to depict women who perhaps are not heard? The mouth and lips show the pain of a blocked or sealed voice, desperate to communicate but plugged up like a hole in the wall. The colours also depict beauty and joy in the end after a long struggle.
Preview works from my upcoming solo show, Passerby.

Next post: