A Collective Process, An interview with Souther Salazar

It was a cold, grey, winter afternoon when we walked into the studio of Souther Salazar. As I crossed the threshold, it felt like all the colors and textures missing from the day were gathered right there within the space for us to play with. Everywhere you looked there was something to take in. His studio is really a collective of friends, painters and makers, and his personal workspace a treasure of collections, works in progress, and things you just want to touch. I was looking forward to talking to him and learning more about the man who creates imaginative worlds of childlike wonder pieced together from layers upon layers.


Please join us for sketchXchange with Souther Salazar

When: Friday, January 9, 2015
Time: 6:00 – 9:00pm
Check-in begins at 6:00pm. Doors close at 6:45pm.
Place: Tillamook Station, 665 N Tillamook Street, PDX 97227
Cost: $5 suggested donation at signup

Space is limited be sure to register early!

His journey into making, like for many of us, started in his youth. Collecting cards, stamps, rocks and stickers became a part of that process. In one of his earliest memories he began an assemblage of price stickers beneath his family's dining room table. I wonder if this might have begun his start into compilations of art and sculpture.

I collect the results of different creative impulses and put them together, not necessarily sitting down and creating a piece from start to finish but creating from lots of little pieces.

These collections are openly displayed throughout the studio but also within flat files, photo albums, and sketchbooks. It's overwhelming in a good way and the process of his organized collecting becomes the inspiration for many of his projects. He not only collects found images for inspiration, but also gathers little pieces of his own work in albums like catalogs of instant resource material. I was both impressed and envious of this disciplined system.

His sketchbooks are like mini studies—the jumping off point from where the work might take him. They're messy, scrappy, beautiful and full of visual stories and ideas. What may start out like a simple doodle on a corner of a page, over time could accumulate into something new. The work is often intertwined, a piece of drawing cut from a sketchbook will often find it's way onto a panel of a painting or into a sculpture. Whatever the path, the end results sure make me happy.

It’s all identical, its about moving my hands around and letting my mind wander and seeing where it can go.