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David Salle | Satire at Its Best

David Salle is an American painter, printmaker, and photographer, known for his work in the postmodern art movement. He studied at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) under the tutelage of John Baldessari, a key figure in conceptual art.

Baldessari's influence is evident in Salle's approach to art, particularly in his use of juxtaposition, collage techniques, and appropriation of images from various sources, including popular culture, history, and art history. Salle’s art is often described as satirical, as it critiques and comments on modern society, art history, and media culture through its ironic juxtapositions and mix of high and low cultural references.  By combining elements from different sources and historical periods, he critiques the overload of images and information in contemporary society, the commodification of art and culture, and the often-superficial nature of media and advertising.

OVERUNDER (PORTFOLIO), White, presents a modern and stylized interpretation of a classic scene, the biblical narrative of Adam and Eve and the Tree of Knowledge. The figures are depicted in a simplified, graphic style that is reminiscent of some contemporary art trends, aligning with David Salle's known approach to visual narrative and his exploration of cultural and historical motifs.

On the left, a female figure is illustrated with elements traditionally associated with Eve: she is near a tree and appears to be in a moment of contemplation or interaction with it. The tree in the center stands out with its vividly colored leaves, drawing the eye with its rainbow palette, symbolizing perhaps the allure of knowledge or temptation. The serpent, a central element in the story of Adam and Eve, winds its way around the tree. Its purple color is striking, making it the focal point of the scene, and symbolizing the seduction and danger associated with forbidden knowledge.

On the right, a male figure, presumably representing Adam, is depicted in a contemplative stance, turned away from the tree and the serpent, possibly symbolizing hesitation, denial, or the aftermath of a consequential decision. His attire and posture are modernized, distancing him from traditional depictions of biblical figures and placing the narrative in a more contemporary context.


White, 2021, (17/20)

Archival pigment ink print, hand varnished on Innova Etching Cotton Rag 315 gsm

42 x 42 x 2 inTop of Form


Available at Burgess Modern + Contemporary


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