TONY SALADINO, who lives and works in Hurst, Texas, began his association with Gallery Shoal Creek in the 1980's. First showing his mezzotint prints, his focus turned to painting by the 90's. In his paintings, one saw the same landscape and still life compositions present in the mezzotints, yet in a large scale format. Soon, those landscapes developed further as the artist moved towards more abstracted imagery—landscape elements that were depicted with the mere suggestion of form and geometric references. "The evolution has been fascinating to watch," says the gallery's owner Judith Taylor. "Over the course of twenty years, the need for structure has given way to spontaneity."
I leave out a lot of visual information while retaining what is essential to convey my reaction to a subject or scene, knowing that the viewer will fill in the spaces and hopefully will engage with the work on a personal level. In the Earth Forms Series of both monotypes and the large works on canvas, I seek to contrast the flat vastness of the landscape and the detail of what is near. The cooler pieces describe visually how water on the land changes with the sun's light and how the wind creates water movement or placid mirror like surfaces.
I go from working with the inks of printmaking in doing the monotypes to the paints that have a much more fluid response. I enjoy the challenge of moving from one to another medium. As in everything, there are connections. The pigment left on the plate I use to make a monotype often leaves cognate images upon which I start another piece getting many serendipitous passages. Similarly, when painting, I wipe my leftover brush paint on the next blank canvas providing an amorphous background spread undeliberately over the new canvas. As I paint, I move between brush and spatula - consider the areas that need to be more quiet and peaceful, using them to juxtapose the detail and highlights of a focal point where I want the viewer's eye to travel.
Tony Saladino was born in New Orleans. He received a BS degree from Louisiana State University.
He is featured in the 2013 book "Contemporary Art of the Southwest" by Ashley Rooney with foreword by Julie Sasse, Chief Curator and Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Tucson Museum of Art.