The exhibition was in central London and it was entitled Ten, because there were only ten pieces of artwork present. Although when I first knew this I was upset, I then realised that this actually benefited me as it gave me the opportunity to focus on, study and admire the pieces present in more detail. Andrew Salgado focuses on negative aspects of life, often his work is based upon identity, sexuality, grief and loss. He paints not only for the visible result, but also to share his views on certain matters.
The ten pieces present visibly contained different emotions, moods and stories behind them. There was a lot of symbolic meaning behind them and I think perhaps this was my favourite part of the exhibition. The fact that all the stories and emotion behind the pieces were so prominent and clear was an aspect of his work that was different to many other artists I had come across. Andrew Salgado could not be considered an artist who solely creates portraits, but abstract and figurative work too, which can hardly be labeled. This was reflected clearly in his artwork as the works contained a lot more depth to them compared to an ordinary portrait.
Previous to my visit, I had not yet been to an art gallery or show of a professional style like Ten, and I am extremely glad that this was my first one because I learnt so much from it that I can now apply to my own art.
He works with different mediums such as oil paint and oil pastel, and by studying the paintings at Ten, I realised how he uses different tools to form one piece of art. The mediums he uses come together and almost fit to create one spectacular piece of art, and if one happened to be absent I feel like the look and feel of the piece would change completely. I personally think that the way all these mediums come together is one of the main reasons behind the strong voice and emotion emitted from his art.
I found the brush strokes and the intensity and importance that they emitted one of the best features of his work at the exhibition. I think they clearly showed Salgados passion and love for his career. The rough surfaces contained meaning of rough times and friction between people. Also the use of colour and composition was extremely interesting and something I had not yet seen. He uses a lot of contrasting colours, especially in the pieces present at Ten. I felt like his use of colour emphasised the meaning behind the piece by portraying difference and separation between things within the piece but also because his pieces are often about negative ideology, the use of bright colour contradicts these views and shares his opinion on the matters. In one piece he used the canvas as his palette and I loved this look of messiness but also definitive and clean work and the same time.
Although I liked all the pieces a lot, I definitely enjoyed some more than others. Some portraits were visibly more full, proving to be more appealing to me. Others were still very interesting however ones like 'Schismatics' and 'Black Dionysus' were more simple and less bright and inviting. Although these probably were made like this with reason and purpose, I personally did not find these as attractive to study or interpret.
I would definitely recommend people to go and visit any one of Salgado's exhibitions, as although I had looked at his work online and read some material about him, the actual emotion present in the paintings, which I think is one of the main things Salgado focuses on, is not clear and felt until seeing the pieces up close, where you can study and focus on them properly with clear sight into how they are composed and the meaning behind them.
From this exhibition I definitely learnt a lot, however there are two things that I think were most clear to me after I left. The first was that using different mediums within a piece can be almost more effective and more meaningful than using a single one, because it creates different looks and textures that are clearly visible and accessible and these create different moods. Secondly, brush strokes can create different moods as well as textures. In Salgado's pieces, he sometimes used brush strokes to emphasise a point or make it stand out, and I think these different thicknesses and intensities really helped me to direct my focus onto certain things.