I’m a little bit late to the party writing about this very cool exhibit, due to being busy doing other equally cool things. That said, you have until June 15th to make it to the Jonathan LeVine Gallery to see the Souvenirs solo exhibit from Portland-based artist Souther Salazar.
Souvenirs includes a series of new paintings, drawings, sculptures and installations, and it is very fun and totally family friendly. His art reminds me a bit of artist Jim Houser, whose work I also saw at LeVine very recently; in May of this year.
Here’s a little bit of backstory on the inspiration for Souvenirs:
Works in Souvenirs were inspired by The Trading Tortoise, Salazar’s recent collaboration with his wife, Monica Choy. In 2012, the pair created an interactive art installation in the form of a tortoise-shaped trading post, which they took on tour, bartering unique objects and stories at locations in over 30 different cities across the country.
During their travels, the artists explored America, exchanging tiny treasures and sharing adventures along the way. This unique community-oriented experience, which connected a diverse group of people through a network of trades, is documented on Trading Tortoise Dot Com.
During Trading Tortoise, Salazar explored the connection between personal memories and collected objects, items that serve as tangible reminders of places, people and events. Organizing his memories of the project into imaginary collections, Salazar created artworks to represent his own visual souvenirs, referencing some of the experiences.
Drawings of trucks, gas pumps and power lines take on anthropomorphic qualities while a series of small sculptures constructed from found objects are presented in curio-like shadow boxes—one contains a series of miniature water towers in varying shapes and sizes, and the other features a group of figures representing some of the people Salazar met, the things they traded and their relationships to those objects.
Souvenirs By Souther Salazar will be on Exhibit Only through June 15th, 2013 at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Located at 529 West 20th Street, 9th Floor, in the Chelsea Gallery District.