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Excellence abroad NY: Gilbert Salinas

A Serenity in Color

Swaths of color overlap, undulate, merge and divide on paper. Although the colors feel like paint moving in different directions, the texture of each painting feels like colored glass or marbleized crystals. The man behind the painting is not Salvador Dali or Jackson Pollock, but no other than Gibert Salinas.

Gilbert Salinas, Distortion, (2015), Mixed media on paper, 30 × 38 in

Born in Massachusetts and based in Puerto Rico, Salinas developed his style under painters such as Pablo Rubio and Roland Berges Soto. Additionally, he has been influenced by Domingo García, best known as Puerto Rico's master painter and a mentor to Salinas. Similar to his American predecessors, García's style of painting takes on blurred abstractions that break from the lines of an object. While García and Salinas have extremely similar approaches to painting, the latter takes on a more naturalistic approach to render each line and texture to mimic nature such as layers of sedimentary rocks. However, not all of Salinas' work appears natural.

Gilbert Salinas, Tropical Erosion 44, (2016), Mixed Media on Canvas, 30 × 40 in

Displayed at the Alessandro Berni Gallery on Artsy, themes of Salinas' work touches on tropical erosions and glaciation. To depict a tropical erosion, he touches on his sense of emotion rather than sight. For instance, in Tropical Erosion 44 (2016), the painter clashes colors from shades of pastel pink to the darkest blue green. The colors may not match; however, they also compliment each other. This pattern repeats throughout his Tropical Erosion series and it is evident that Distortion, his earlier painting, influences the trajectory of his later work.

Gilbert Salinas, Tropical Erosion 43, (2016), Mixed Media, 12 × 9 in

Contrary to Tropical Erosion, Glaciation (2015) takes on a subdued mood. Painting the surface with a mixture of cool and ruddy tones of white, blue and brown, Salinas is not afraid to take on a risk of exhibiting the coolness of winter. Given that winter has a negative connotation of hardness, Salinas aims to invite his viewers into the warmth hidden beneath winter’s chill.

Abstraction may appear simple; however, Salinas masters is well. For all the future artists out there: show, not tell.

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