We began our conversation with the agreed notion that no one can paint like Jackson Pollock anymore—space wise (studio spaces surely aren’t cheap). After having generously bounced back and forth the word ‘whimsical’ during our conversation, My discussion with InLiquid Artist Marc Salz covered a myriad of topics including his (albeit spacious) art studios in the past, growing up in an artistic household, and the phases in which Marc’s process.
From January until May, Marc will be showing his latest works on paper at Rittenhouse 1715. Salz’s new pencil and watercolor drawings allude to forces in nature: wind, fire, and stars. Each drawing shows the gradual, fractal dividing of large forms into smaller and even smaller ones. His shaped paintings are restless rectangles with their sections protruding in all directions like arms or branches. They suggest the labyrinths experienced in video games, where the eye jumps from one corner to the other. In a word his work is whimsical, and leave the viewer in a joyful state.
“I grew up with my father, the art dealer Sam Salz, and my mother who was a dancer. Marina Franca, of Les Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo.” He grew up in a house that regularly circulated Claude Monet’s coming in from major art exhibitions and leaving to grace the homes of top art collectors from around the world. Marc was born in New York but has lived and painted in Philadelphia for the past forty years. His work has been in numerous solo and group shows in Philadelphia, including Dolan Maxwell and The More Gallery, and has been shown and is in collections in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, New Mexico and the U.K.
“In the words of Charlie Parker: never play the same solo twice,” Marc says when describing his process. In Marc’s process from one series to the next, he always tries to find something a little bit different that he learned from the previous. From Minimalist technique to the use of religious themes, and massive triptychs with heavy content to light-hearted works on paper, Marc’s style has evolved for over a decade. He describes a technique he once used where the application of white dots creates a scintillating effect, seen in his current body of work. “Its finding something different that always makes it interesting,” he tells me, cautioning other artists that repetition and over-saturation are the artist’s worst enemies! A secret: as said by Morton Feldman, you spend half your career learning how to use paint, and the other half learning how to use turpentine. A relief to know that the often embarrassing overly-indulgent phase may be a necessary step in the path to wisdom.
Currently, one of Marc’s paintings is featured on the cover of a book of poetry: “Turnings” by Ernest Yates, based on the writer’s wanderings through the streets of Philadelphia. The work that graces the cover is one of his oil on wood paintings. Joking about the primary colors reminiscing the De Stijl movement, Marc says, “I like to call this one Broad Street Boogie Woogie!”
You can see Marc’s latest works on paper and meet him this Sunday at his artist’s reception held at Rittenhouse 1715.