David Salle David Salle

David Salle  A few months ago I interviewed the painter David Salle, who has a wonderful new book out called “How To See.” I asked him when he made the first painting that looked like him and this is what he said:
        “I think I had a glimmer of a visual affect which I identified as mine when I was still in school, but it was elusive and fugitive, and it came in and out of focus. But I remember driving down Ocean Boulevard in Santa Monica, past all those pastel, stucco buildings, seeing the sun hit those buildings, and I was struck by the sense of doubleness of the visual world. It struck me that everything is both itself and a representation of the idea of itself, that there was something behind the visual façade, but it was exactly the same as what was on the front. That’s the thing about painting – painting is only the surface, and if you peel off the surface, there’s just another surface. There’s this idea that everything is behind the painting but you only feel that from what’s on the surface. I remember thinking at the time, that’s my theme. It took years to manifest it in some reliable way, and I still sometimes don’t know – it can be there and not there, I don’t have any reliable way of getting to it. But I know it when I see it.”

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