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Anja Salonen at Five Car Garage


June 5, 2021 - July 20, 2021

Five Car Garage

In “World as Lover, World as Self,” Anja Salonen presents a sensuous vision of selfhood that is porous and ever-changing. In her fantastical paintings, figures seamlessly meld with the natural environment. In “Erotic Exchange,” a woman cradles a stone with red glowing eyes that stare back at her, the two locked in communication. A nautilus shell spirals out from the central point between the eyes, enveloping both the woman and stone as they float in a field that is at once cosmic and aqueous. Throughout the paintings on view, Salonen’s body becomes a sixth element—as earth, wind, water, air, and fire all embrace her in their ethereal balance. 

The artist argues for intentional fluidity with the natural world as a way to approach our moment of ecological crises. She explains that “the predominant ideological separation of self from world and culture from nature sets up a failure to discern how we alter and are altered by our environment, the ecological dimension of our being.” Her exhibition proposes another vision of reality in which self and nature are one in the same—erotically and intrinsically intertwined in a cosmic dance.

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Photo: Anja Salonen, “Erotic Exchange,” 2021. 60” x 72,” oil and dye on canvas. Image courtesy of the artist and Five Car Garage.