Visual artist and muralist Nicole Salgar’s Latin background informs her style—even if she doesn’t intend it that way.
“When I create I don’t set out to focus on my heritage as an inspiration, nor do I draw from it specifically. However, there are times I do see things that tie back to Latin American folk art,” she says.
However it’s hard to pigeonhole Salgar, because her range of genres and mediums is vast. She draws from indigenous folk art but also various mythologies, Victorian design, fantasy, horror, music and cinema.
“When I paint murals, I take from the environment around me, and the people and experiences I have had in each city. “I do extensive research on the culture and the people to gather ideas,” says Salgar, 36, who moved back home to Miami after 15 years in New York City.
Painting outdoors in Florida’s pounding sun, Salgar turns to her Rigby polarized sunglasses. It’s an accessory as essential as her paintbrush.
One of Salgar’s most cherished and representatives works features a “blue entity” holding an albino crow with a red sky. She created the powerful painting during a month-long residency in Barcelona, Spain.
“The name of the series I painted while I was there was called “Sentinel,” meaning guardian or gatekeeper. The subjects portrayed are the gatekeepers to other dimensions,” she says.
“The albino crow is a symbol of ancient wisdom and are keepers of the sacred law. It’s a messenger of what’s to come and beckons you to use your second sight to see into these realms. The paradoxical iconography between architecture and nature represents an essential relation between physicality and the thought of existence.”
The description is deep, but for Salgar it’s only natural. Art has been her personal form of expression from a very young age. “I knew it was something I liked doing and it came natural, but the self-expression aspect has always been more of a subconscious thing,” she says.
Salgar encourages other artists to look deep too—and confront the fear of failure.
She says, “Don’t let fear hinder you from doing anything. You are capable of many things. Be open to exploring, learning and don’t be too hard on yourself.”
Her favorite pair of shades is the Iris