Famous writer, Octavio Paz, once said in a poetic essay, that “the senses, without losing their power, become servants of the imagination and make us hear the unheard and perceive the imperceptible”, because “through them, poetry creates a bridge between seeing and believing. Through this bridge, imagination acquires a corporeal body, and bodies turn into images”. In this quote, “poetry” could replace art, so that the (artistic) images be the ones to speak of the imperceptible and the unheard: the emotions.
Over time, very few things have managed to maintain their power unchanged; images are just one example, as throughout history they were able to guide decisions, move minds, explain events, shake certainties and make consciences shudder, changing the horizons of private worlds. Changer la vie, the idea that spans the entire work of Salustiano, and that conjoins images of the various collections presented here, draws on that power so that, through it, desires and reality take the same path.
Through several series, each with a different character, emerges the common intention of the artist – to penetrate the inner world of the viewer and to influence the realm of his emotions. The latter are the real protagonists of Changer la vie, embodied in images of young men and women, with expressions laden with magnetism. The intensity of a gaze, the sweetness of closed eyes or the warmth of lips place the beholder into an ambivalent relationship between proximity and distance, between attraction and barriers. These gazes invite to go beyond the mere representation and to leap towards the inner realm, but at the same time, their expressions never allow complete abandon, as barely perceptible tension lines slow it down.
The game of contrasts, oppositions and ambivalences that leads to this tension, and that manifests itself through different planes, structures the entire work of Salustiano. The presence of dualities becomes more explicit at the visual level of the image representation and composition: a determined and sometimes severe look, contrasting with patronizing gestures or the delicacy of a pair of hands, the timelessness of positions reminding of classicism or Renaissance is torn apart by unmistakably modern elements accompanying the portrayed figure, the solemn air of a pose is denied by the ephemeral or vulgar character of the depicted object, or a heightened masculinity is weakened by the coquetry of other elements included in the composition.
Delicate virility and determined femininity are another potential source of destabilisation, since they challenge the established norms.
Text written by Elena Sacchetti