Contemporary Art Meets Social Networking
To encourage dialogue and broaden the audience for his work, New York artist Steven Salzman uploads his boldly colored, geometric digital images to Facebook in the three-part horizontal rectangle format seen on Facebook pages. His playful, yet insightful paintings, prints and collages draw inspiration from advanced physics and astronomy. Steven Salzman: Facebook Formatted (and other works) will be on view in Nassau County Museum of Art’s Contemporary Collectors Gallery from March 31 through July 8, 2012. The exhibition is organized for the museum’s Contemporary Collectors Circle by Elaine Berger.
Several works on display reveal Salzman’s long fascination with an unusual variety of materials to create minimal abstractions of great subtlety and mesmerizing refinement. One series is composed entirely of striped plastic drinking straws. The artist meticulously cuts and glues hundreds of plastic straws onto rectangular boards; each of these compositions may take weeks to complete. This use of an ordinary, familiar material becomes a modernist pun in which the viewer is encouraged to “drink in” or “slurp up” the visual results.
Salzman’s interest in a type of paint known as “interference pigments” is seen in several large canvases in this exhibition. These paints contain reflective particles that produce a “lenticular” effect. This means that, depending on the light source and the viewer’s position, colors shift to their spectrum opposites — reds to greens, yellows to purples, blues or oranges and vice versa. The overall design can also shift from milky whites to sparkling vivid hues. These star-like compositions can be seen as referring to the light from celestial bodies and man’s fascination with space, time, and motion.