Leigh Salgado: Paper Lady

What would the idea of beauty be like if it had a form?  And what if that form was flat?  These are the things that come to mind when one looks at the work of Leigh Salgado, an artist based in the Huntington Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.  Salgado’s work began with painting where she incorporated “burning surfaces and drawing.” It wasn’t until the 1990s when Salgado was working on a 7x4 foot piece she calls a ‘doodle’ drawing that a moment of frustration brought her to the next manifestation of her craft.  “I picked up an X-Acto knife and aggressively cut out areas I didn’t want. This felt very liberating and cutting then became part of my drawing/painting process.”  Said Salgado. 

One can’t help but see the feminin aspect incorporating itself into Salgado’s work with intricately cut ‘sculpted paintings’ of floral like corsets and bras and panties that weave their way into larger more intricate designs.  One piece in particular titled ‘Birdcage’ shows a metal corset with floral accents, Salgado says “I view undergarments and clothing as beautiful and interesting objects that can be both freeing and confining.” Her work is not too far off of how most women feel today about their spandex and six inch heels yet with Salgodo imagery one might not feel that way upon first glance, in fact one might feel connected to the delicacy of her work.  “Although conditioning has a role in what we consider to be sexy or attractive, we are also inherently drawn to patterns and mystery, elements in fabrics that are often used in female attire.” Said Salgado. 

Another element used in Salgado’s work is light, the placement of her pieces on walls in coordination with the light placement has an equally astounding visual effect. Depending on the overall light source a piece by Leigh Salgado can change “I think this adds visual interest and creates a sense of transience.” Said Salgado. 

From drawing to cutting to painting the various techniques that Leigh Salgado uses all culminates into the vision that exists in her creative mind that also holds girly, feminity and power to draw us in.  Which ever way you look at Salgado’s work you will definitely have an affinity for it, wether it is from across the room or as you stare inches from the piece.

To see Leigh Salgado’s work in person visit the Lancaster Museum of Art and Art History this coming December 5, 2015 for the opening reception of Vanity which be showing her latest work ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.’  The show runs from December 5, 2015 to January 24, 2016 with the opening reception December 5, 2015 at 4pm-6pm

The conceptual aspect of my work is an embracement of “girly” femininity and the contradictions, questions and power that this evokes.
— Leigh Salgado
I think there are more opportunities than before for various reasons – a greater appreciation for work that is not just white male centric, Latinas creating their own opportunities and the access that the internet provides. But the art world, like the non-art world, would have to be sexism, ageism and racism free for representation to be truly equal.
— Leigh Salgado