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Cavity Ghosts and Other Delights: The Art of Nico Salazar

A local artist spans eras and influence for a new locally produced clothing line

September 21, 2016, 9:50 am
Courtesy Future Fantasy Delight

About seven years ago, I was wandering the Santa Fe Plaza on one of those impossibly perfect New Mexican days when—boom!—I realized I needed chocolate bad. My decadent afternoon snack of choice was the balls o' heaven known as bolitas at Señor Murphy Candymaker’s inside La Fonda (100 E San Francisco St., 982-0461) and who would have guessed that fateful candy craving would be the catalyst for meeting the Cavity Ghost creator himself, artist Nico Salazar. 

Salazar’s characters are brilliant and unique and entirely of himself. From Beastly Vandal, an ogre who lives for street art and slurping down horchata, to Cavity Ghost, who possesses one to eat sweets, to the Annunaki Hotties, the sexiest cosmic entities this side of the Milky way, Salazar’s cartoons are more than drawings; they are alive.

Raised in Pecos by very traditional Spanish folks (think horses), he shuttled between Santa Fe, Oxnard, California, and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, as his dad was a Navy man. You can see influences from the places Salazar haunted as a young one in everything from his kawaii girls to Cali punkz to the brujas in New Mexico. He is a veritable smoothie of cultures, and a delicious one at that.

Salazar is one of those rare talents who morphed from inspired drawings to pop plastic jewelry (he ran the now-defunct Soft Museum with fellow artists Autumn Dawn and Max Sanders and garnered worldwide acclaim while still studying at the Institute of American Indian Art) to painting and—drumroll—now a complete fashion line called Future Fantasy Delight. You can see burbles of manga mixed with ’80s video games and punk rock dusted with a taste of ’90's rave, all transformed into something unique and entirely Salazar. It even caught the attention of the Meow Wolf folks, who have funded his line; MW rocks the business end and Salazar has complete creative control. Everything is done in stoic black and white, and though the palette is simple and the line is sharp, the artwork itself is a drippy-dreamy psychedelic stew and features everything from leggings, pins, tote bags and nail decals to t-shirts and, coming soon, jumpsuits and bikinis!

The Future Fantasy Delight launch party goes down at a 21+ show at Meow Wolf (where you can also see an entire room of Salazar's artwork, by the way) on Saturday, Sept. 24 at 7 pm and features NYC-based musician Princess Nokia, who describes her sound as cosmic and three-dimensional with influences from the banjee girls in Harlem, teen brides in the Middle East and gay boys in East Asia. It's the perfect musical accompaniment to Salazar's dreamy line. Ooh, what a perfect whipped topping of genius for the party! Tickets can be found here, but entrance to the event is free if you show up by 7:30 pm.

Future Fantasy Delight Clothing Line Launch
with Princess Nokia
9-11 pm Saturday, Sept. 24. $15-$18.
Meow Wolf, 1352 Rufina Circle, 395-6369.

 

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