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Carol Salmanson
Brooklyn, NY
Neighborhood: Bushwick

ARTIST STATEMENT: Memory is at its most magical when it conjures up not the event, but its surrounding perceptual and emotional space. Flashes of reflected light, movement seen out of the corner of eye, bits of sound or feeling – these are what ignite memory, giving it form and bringing it to life. Light both beams into and envelops you. I started working with it in 2003 after painting for many years because of these singular spatial qualities. They allow me to build whole worlds with color and shape, ones that resonate with memory and experience. Painters have often talked about depicting light. Today’s technology allows me to use light as medium as well as subject. My vocabulary combines light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with contemporary reflective and transparent materials. The works range from the organic to the architectural. The concepts for my installations and sculptures are structural, concerned with the way that form, light, and reflected light merge. My background as a painter has given me the ability to create works that are aesthetically rich, and technology provides a way to integrate color and line into the vocabulary of sculpture and architecture. My wall works bridge the chasm between the technological and the handmade. I incorporate their materials into the form of the work: wires become lines; transparent and reflective sheeting become spatial illusions; LEDs become objects of various shapes, sizes, and colors. Together they act as discrete elements that form two-dimensional work like paintings, while the volumetric nature of their light amplifies and radiates color outward to suggest metaphorical spaces. My work with light work derived from my painting. I have recently resumed painting, and it is in turn informed by my years working with light. As I integrate my light work with my earlier painting I pay special attention to the proportionality afforded by their synthesis. I am now simultaneously experiencing new media and old, deepening my understanding of the different concepts of space. The spaces I create are artificial but not fictional: stage sets, lit from within and without.

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