Resonancias oníricas
Paolo Salvador


April 30–June 4, 2021

Peres Projects is pleased to present Resonancias oníricas, Paolo Salvador’s second solo exhibition at the gallery, on the occasion of Gallery Weekend Berlin. Educated in both Lima and London, Salvador’s recent works continue the artist’s exploration and affirmation of his Peruvian identity. Salvador’s paintings are quiet. The swirl of color and texture in his landscapes wash over the viewer – an experience that happens slowly and in stages. These paintings resist the instantaneous scroll time that our eyes have adjusted to, and are not easily digestible. His works are haunting, and elicit emotional resonances that develop and change over time.

From a distance the mind has space to contemplate questions of home and belonging, and it is from Salvador’s new residence in Berlin that his works turn towards reflection on his own Peruvian identity. Salvador looks to mythology as a device to examine diasporic experiences, and his work not only evokes mythological figures but also situates them within a contemporary context and discourse. As personal reflection gives way to complex realities, this synthesis opens up spaces for new mythologies to materialize.

These oneiric paintings are inhabited by animal and human figures that navigate ecosystems inspired by Peruvian landscapes. Mythic figures recur throughout Salvador’s work, as he taps into ancient local traditions and iconography. Each figure simultaneously embodying symbolic and narrative meaning. Plants significant for their medicinal or hallucinogenic properties, or animals absorbed by national and regional identities, circulate amongst his contemporary imagery. Invoking these figures and icons and situating them within the contemporary context and discourse, Salvador asserts the resilience and the usefulness of these shared narratives.

The figures that are at the center of his works are mostly untethered by architecture, emerging from nebulous environments that evade specific location, which upon closer inspection reveal as much texture and painterly detail as in the figures. Human and animal figures move together through these landscapes, emerging through the soft, textured pinks and blues of the skyline – extensions of a common spirit. The intersection of the human and the non-human, figure and landscape, urban and wild, are themes that run throughout Salvador’s practice. The artist’s gothic interest in the transgression of boundaries opens into the sublime, amplified by the emotional states imparted by his lush color palette.

Salvador’s works are experiments in excess and aesthetic ambiguity, conjuring dreamscapes where humans and animals in lockstep navigate hazy locations where details elide the specific. The artist’s raw brushstrokes, where colors overlap and struggle for dominance, weave together these hybrid worlds composed of deconstructed timelines. Salvador’s paintings have an art historical syntax, combining and reflecting on visual lineages while integrating his own personal exploration of Peruvian heritage. The symbolism in each work gestures to larger histories, yet elicit individual interpretations and affective responses. His works traverse the collective psyche, reflecting on contemporary experiences of isolation and alienation as well as moments of convergence.