Charlie James Gallery presents To Return, the first solo exhibition from Los Angeles based artist Shizu Saldamando since giving birth to her son in 2016. The exhibition, titled after the English translation of a song by Mexican crooner Vicente Fernandez, presents a series of new portraits paying homage to friends and peers in the vein of Alex Katz and David Hockney. Saldamando depicts her own life inhabiting and interacting with other artists, activists, and musician friends who make up varying Latinx music and art scenes in Los Angeles.
The exhibition incorporates graphite drawings, colored pencil collage, and oil paintings on raw wood panels to offer the viewer a look into the different social communities that Saldamando inhabits. Portraits include artist Ever Velasquez, activists Audrey Silvestre and Vikki Gutman, artist Sashiko Yuen, perfomance artist Gabbi Ruiz, singer Martin Sorrondeguy, artist Mayahuel Rosado, and many more. From a large-scale portrait of punk singer Martin Crudo at his birthday party at Club Chico, a historic gay bar in a suburb adjacent to East Los Angeles, to a colored pencil portrait of artist Maya Rosado at her senior thesis exhibition at CalArts, Saldamando portrays varying moments and people in and around Los Angeles, utilizing varying mediums.
Shizu Saldamando was born and raised in San Francisco’s Mission District, and currently lives and works in Los Angeles. She received her B.A. from UCLA’s School of Arts and Architecture and her M.F.A. from California Institute of the Arts. Her drawings, paintings, sculptures, and videos have been exhibited both locally and internationally and experiment with a broad range of surfaces and materials. Saldmando’s portraiture employs painting and drawing on canvas, wood, paper and cloth, and functions as homage, as well as documentation, of subcultures within and around the Los Angeles metropolitan area.
A selection of her solo exhibitions include When You Sleep: A Survey of Shizu Saldamando, Vincent Price Art Museum, Monterey Park, CA; All Tomorrow’s Parties, Moore College of Art and Design, Philadelphia, PA; There is a Place, Steve Turner Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; and Stay Gold, Space 47, San Jose, CA. Selected group exhibitions include: Phantom Sightings at Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Trans-Pacific Borderlands, part of the Getty Pacific Standard Time initiative at the Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, CA; We Must Risk Delight: Twenty Artists from Los Angeles, an official collateral exhibition of the Venice Biennale; Drawing the Line at Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA and The High Art of Riding Low at the Petersen Automotive Museum, Los Angeles, CA.