Meet the Artist: Ari Salka

On November 5th, LA-based painter Ari Salka installed 8 pieces of artwork at our Ouimillie Silverlake location. We are extremely excited to share our space with these dynamic color vibrations and mark making that are both abstracted in their very forms as well as figurative. 

Color was Salka’s first language. Unable to read until third grade, the would-be artist struggled with dyslexia, learning letters by memorizing colors attached to each letter of the English alphabet. By putting together different colored patterns, Salka then learned how to read– making color Salka’s first language. Quite literally, painting became a way to express themselves and communicate with the world outside of inner dialogue. 

Salka holds a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2016) and MFA in Painting from UCLA (2019). Salka also studied at the Yale Norfolk Summer School of Art and received the Ellen Battell Stoeckel Fellowship in Norfolk, CT (2015). Salka’s work has been exhibited at UCLA, The Torrance Art Museum, Cerritos College, Flower Head (Los Angeles), LADIES' ROOM  (Los Angeles), Durden and Ray (Los Angeles); Beacon Arts Building (Inglewood, CA) and The SAIC Sullivan Galleries (Chicago). Salka’s work has been featured in Artillery Magazine as well as New American Paintings. Salka has read their poetry at local readings around Los Angeles, and galleries such as NÉVÉ (Los Angeles) and Le Maximum (Venice,CA).

Salka pictured on the roof of their painting studio, less than a mile away in Echo Park, 2022

Throughout Salka’s  works, viewers can identify motifs of bodies symbolizing past, present, and future selves. This type of abstract work creates a space for viewers to make their own connections to the piece and identify their interpretation of the images. Salka’s work acts as a mirror into the viewer's personal past, present and future. Said most eloquently in  Ari Salka: On Bodies (Be)held Trans Rights are Under Siege; This Artist Resists by Julie Schulte for Artillery Magazine in September 2020, Schulte states “Salka’s paintings resist; not only by showing us non-binary bodies, but hands prepared to reach out and lead us beyond the present political limitations, into a realm where these bodies are not withheld from view, not merely visible, but beheld and, most importantly, in their dynamic, breathing, singing, multitudinous forms—held.”

Due to Salka’s process, many of these paintings have taken a decade or more to finish before being revisited for their final pass. The living embodiment of Salka’s of self-collaboration, can be viewed in their reflective explorations, both in medium as well as through iconographic imagery. This balance between a frenetic use of paint and a tender use is approached from beginning to end. Salka works with a vast variety of materials whether it be acrylic paint, house paint, raw pigments, gouache, ink, or other traditional drawing materials. Salka has been known to make paintings on almost all substrates. 

Please join us on Saturday, January 21st as we are pleased to present a celebration of the visual artworks of Ari Salka, as well as a poetry reading. Salka will be sharing a preview of some of the recent poems from their soon to be released book: In Hesitation When Hesitation Is Irrelevant. We look forward to seeing you on January 21st 2023, we will be open from 1-9 pm,  Reading at 5:30 pm, Drinks and music from 6-9 pm. 


Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.