Roland Salazar Rose (b. 1927) painted in Mexico across three decades at the turn of this century (1989-2009). The light, the line, the color in San Miguel de Allende and the Mexican people, culture and landscape captivated him. At the same time, Salazar was thrust into a profound psychological struggle. With the death of his father, the artist Salazar and the son Roland were besieged by thoughts and emotions erupting from the subconscious. As thoughts of his mortality closed in on him, Roland sought to reconcile his experiences of alienation from his father, his failed and failing marriages and troubled fatherhood, and his ambitions as Salazar the artist.
In Salazar : Mexico Years the artist exhibits a very small portion of the nearly two thousand paintings he created in Mexico. In the works exhibited here the personal psychological struggle becomes a personal and artistic journey into myth and history. Salazar encounters Pre-Columbian Mexican deities and forces. He explores the presence of the land itself, its connection to life and culture. As he awakens spiritually, Salazar’s heart and mind become his hands. He produces a body of work that attempts to bring myth and history to the forefront of our consciousness.
Salazar’s complete Mexico oeuvre suggests, moreover, that the existential crisis of the present century – in all its furious violence and widespread injustice – results in our alienation from the Earth itself, from the indispensable core of our humanity. Nevertheless broad and deep currents of myth and history continuously merge in the human psyche, a river that flows from our dynamic relationship with a living planet. Thus, our past and present excesses do not condemn us to atavistic violence, quixotic dreams or ecological calamity. Salazar’s aesthetic quest encourages us to learn from history, find inspiration in the power of myth, and re-discover our humanity.