About Aaron Salm
There are no upcoming events
I want painting to be ubiquitous and approachable, like music, but not in a way that cheapens it. To do this I try to honor what I notice is pulling my attention towards it. I carry around sketch books and when something stands out to me, I draw the idea in the roughest way possible so that when I get to the studio, I can start fresh from the idea I had and not the drawing I made. This allows me to incorporate inconsistencies and inaccuracies into my work and do away with pristine painting between the lines. I think this process is a good allegory for the human spirit and I want to reflect these contradictions in my work as I think that people respond to contradictions because they recognize the same contradictions in themselves.
I am concerned about the relationship between viewer and object. I try to imagine the response of the people who will see my work. The work is only successful when I feel that another person can project some of their personal experiences onto the painting. I like to think of my works as catalysts for introspection and this only works when something feels familiar.
Painting from memory helps me to get rid of cliche and keeps me on my toes. Memories become exaggerated and even falsified as time passes. There is a great deal of dishonesty in my work because I can never guarantee that a memory even happened in actuality. Because memories always change, painting one is a fruitless endeavor of some sort and I think this pursuit of an elusive truth yields compelling imagery.
When I work, I don’t think about art or concepts. The most important thing to me is the way I paint and the resulting image as a final product. The work of other artists is a big influence. When I see something that feels relevant or useful to me I try to understand it and produce it with my own vision. I think images are more stable than art as an idea so I try to make my paintings starting with a personal feeling instead of from an idea. When an image is ‘attractive’ it retains that quality despite the shifting train of thought around it. It’s why we can look at art from the renaissance, and even though the zeitgeist has changed, we are able to still love and appreciate the work.
The flavor profile of cheese is a great metaphor for the sensation I get when I see an image I like. In very strong cheese, there is a balance between the texture of the cheese and this pungent funky taste. The taste is akin to rottenness and is completely unpleasant when experienced in excess but in the right balance this ‘spoiled’ flavor is at the heart of a really memorable bite of cheese. The sensation that something is just a little off, and this can be turned up or turned down - but I think all good images have some element of this.