Interview with Brooks Salzwedel for “Rut in the Soil” at Lancaster MOAH during “THE NEW VANGUARD II”

Brooks Salzwedel’s exhibition “Rut in the Soil” is on view now through December 30th at the Lancaster MOAH during “The New Vanguard II” 

Can you explain your creative approach when developing your installation/solo for the New Vanguard II?

In my most recent work, I present landscapes, some imagined, some inspired by our national parks, touched by man in various states. In many pieces I’ve enclosed the landscapes in a border of negative space by use of graphic shaped rectangular boxes mimicking a foundation, more specifically the borders we put on land; from national parks, city parks, backyards, gardens, to countries and states. By setting the scenes in these shapes it alters the seemingly limitless boundaries of nature and our behavior with it.

Within the pieces are moments that are personal to me, hidden within the trees and brush one will find oil rigs, fire pits, pills, rainbows, animals, palm trees, and other various images make the piece personal to my experiences and create a greater narrative when pieced together.

In 100 years from now, what do you think will be said about the New Contemporary art movement?

I think the current New Contemporary movement is thriving with so many different types of work and materials. It will be seen as a change in the relationship between artists and galleries, artists and other artists, galleries and other galleries, and collaborations. It will be a time of blurred lines between artists’ original work and people altering those works via social media and computer-generated imagery to create their own works. Technology is still relatively new in the art world, that seems to be shown a lot more in artists’ work as well.

What does it mean to you as an artist to have your work be shown at a museum?

To have a solo show in a museum has been one of my top goals since I was a young artist. I never thought it would happen at such an early stage of my career. I feel as though I am able to offer the world feelings they may not have felt before in a space that is made for the viewer to focus on the work and what it means rather than what it is or will be worth.

If your body of work had a signature cocktail or drink, what would it be made of and called?

It would have to be Oaky, strong, and dark. Maybe an Old Fashion. A dark, wood colored whiskey, with a cold cube in the center and it would need a small object, a stir stick in the shape of a nail to combat the natural taste and feel of the liquid.

Favorite part about Lancaster, or something you learned about Lancaster during your time there working on your install for the New Vanguard II?

It’s a surprisingly comfortable, easy drive from Los Angeles. It’s close enough for an easy afternoon and far enough that the museum is able to take risks on the exhibitions, have more fun. Also, the Blackbird Air Park is quite a treat.

There are a lot of amazing artists in the exhibition, and this question may be difficult to answer, but which artists in this show would you want to collaborate with on or steal an artsy secret/technique from that you want to use too?

I’m not much of a freehand painter, I’m meticulous and detailed and on quite a small scale compared to some other artists. I’d like to collaborate with one of the mural, graffiti artists, maybe Jeff Soto. Not only did we graduate Art Center within a couple of years together I’ve always had a connection to the work, the plants and weathered look in some of his work. I notice Soto has a few larger works, and murals, so the grand scale of his work would push my comfort level.

BROOKS SALZWEDEL
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