Souther Salazar was born in 1978 in Hayward, CA. In the early 1990’s, as a teenager in rural Oakdale, Salazar made photocopied cut-and-paste mini-comics and ‘zines. After graduating from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, he moved to Los Angeles where he lived and worked for ten years before re-locating to Portland OR, where he is currently based. Salazar’s artwork transports the viewer into a vibrant and endless world of overlapping narratives and dreamscapes – half-remembered, half-imagined places “where stories can develop and take on a life of their own.” Utilizing a wide variety of freely mixed media, found objects and layers of assemblage, his work evokes the wonders and imagination that many of us abandoned in childhood. Salazar often exhibits his collages, paintings, drawings and sculptures in dense and frenzied installations that encourage exploration and discovery.
“Sometimes I finish a piece of art and look at it and suddenly see very clear stories that I didn’t realize were being created. It’s kind of a subconscious thing I think. And the characters… some are defined to me, others are just more like stand-ins for ideas or gestures, or they are just exploring this invented world like I’d imagine I would if I could go inside. Sometimes I think of an object like a building or a machine or a tree as a character and I think of them as having personalities or emotions, like this building is happy and lost and this tree is old and forgotten. It’s a weird world that builds on itself with each new piece I make. If I reuse a house or a character or a type of tree, there’s a nice familiar quality that I like about it, that it’s expanding and contracting, breathing and alive.” – Souther Salazar (Flavorwire)