Hernán Salamanco

Slyzmud, Buenos Aires

By Victoria Verlichak | June 28, 2013

Hernán Salamanco (Buenos Aires, 1974) insists on the fact that “painting is before and above all, (…) above everything else”. Vida espiritual is the vibrant result of his conviction, displayed at Slyzmud, a gallery that has been running for little more than a year.

Hernán Salamanco

The graphic material – in the format of a school notebook with a white label – that accompanies his exhibition is the Composition # 9. The notion of composition is central for Nat Sly and Larisa Zmud, as the structuring element in the artistic work and the activities of the gallery’s directors.

Salamanco has worked for many years on Vida espiritual, intrigued to find out more about his parents, who surely read the homonymous illustrated 1939 installments written by Constancio C. Vigil – an extremely popular author of children’s books born in Uruguay and a mythical editor in Argentina – featuring moral and religious appeals for children. Salamanco’s paintings, inspired by these didactic illustrations, contain tender but also disturbing images. Alluring, the works in contrasting tones and duplicating enigmatic presences/absences, result in externalizations of the imaginary as much as of that which cannot be seen. Is it that children, who are there without being there, have discovered the adult world?