For Miguel Saludes (MFA ’16), painting is a way to “divulge an appreciation for the beauty and values the everyday life has to offer.” Commonplace objects and spaces that invoke “the most primordial of thoughts and emotions” are Saludes’ primary inspiration, and he hopes that through his painting these experiences can “transcend their place and time and reach a global audience.”
One such work, a painting called “Concrete Wall,” was inspired by one of these everyday encounters. Saludes walked by the wall daily on his commute to class as a student at the University of Florida and was struck by how it was “stripped of all presence by the convenience of an outside elevator.” For a long time, the wall was a source of somberness for Saludes, something that forced him to confront the “tragedy of life, connoted by the ever-looming presence of death.”
But one day, Saludes said, as he explored the surface of the wall, his fears dissipated and the structure became a “dynamic one, rich with subtleties which [he] became innervated to capture with the energy of [his] hand.” Ultimately, Saludes aims to represent all of this in his work – he wants to “share with every brushstroke the raw expression of [his] pains, fears, uncertainties, and passions.”
On October 7th, he will have the opportunity to showcase some of this work to the public. Saludes’ work, along with the works of fellow UF graduate Jefreid Lotti (MFA ’16), colleague Alvaro Labañino and Cuban artist Carlos Luna, will be featured in an exhibition entitled Cu4tro Caminos, held at Miami Dade College North Campus from 6 to 9 pm. The exhibition is strongly influenced by their status as direct Cuban immigrants and the sons of immigrants from Cuban descent.
As a whole, Saludes said of the exhibition, “Our paintings, as diverse as they might appear, share a desire to evoke a sense of identity and belonging, some to the place where we came from, others to the one which we now occupy and call home.”
For more of Saludes’ work, visit his website: http://www.miguelsaludes.com/