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Courtesy Eight Modern

Let’s Get Animal

Jason Salavon reinvents the [color] wheel

July 16, 2013, 10:00 pm
Jason Salavon does complicated stuff.

So much so, that if I tried to explain his process of art-making, I’d probably get verbally tongue-tied. Basically, he isn’t your typical watercolor-and-canvas type of guy.

In Chance Animals, a month-and-a-half-long exhibition at Eight Modern, Salavon channels Darwin’s geist. In his own words, Salavon says, “I’m referencing the mix of indeterminacy (chance) and order in my work, and also ideas of taxonomy and evolution. But more importantly, the poetics of all those features.”

Take, for example, his “One Week Skin” series (which is on display in this exhibition): after watching, compiling and abstracting 168 hours of programming from CNN, ESPN and HBO (that’s a lot of network), he reformatted the media into a work of art. I can’t say for certain how he did it. But let’s just say that Salavon has a knack for technology. With an MFA, a BA in studio art and a minor in computer science, Salavon’s background kind of says it all. It’s no wonder that Salavon’s previous job (y’know, before he hit it big with the whole art thing) consisted of video game programming. Art + Auction (basically, Forbes magazine for the art world) championed Salavon as one of “50 Under 50: The Next Most Collectible Artists.”

Lauren Tresp, Eight Modern’s gallery manager, says Salavon is the only new media artist who’s been featured at the gallery. In order to accommodate the media artwork, windows were blocked out so the projections could be better perceived. “My favorite work of his,” says Tresp, “is probably the color wheel” (pictured).

With a Google search of colors, Salavon intended to replicate the color wheel. For example, he googled red and, voilà, chose a myriad of jpegs that qualified as red. But the real kicker (what really piqued Tresp’s interest) is that when Salavon searched for violets and pinks, a bunch of pornographically explicit images came up.

“In all his series,” Tresp says, “he’s drawing pop-culture references…but he’s not making any statements.”

Chance Animals
5-7 pm Friday, July 19. 
Free. Eight Modern,
231 Delgado St.,  995-0231


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