Text by Sebastián Krieger
Translation by Juliana Zerda
It’s hard to know who you’re going to meet on the street. But in Montreal it is not unusual to run into a celebrity or a “runaway brain” (this expression refers to people with high academic and professional training who emigrate to other countries) sitting beside you in the bus. It’s the case of Saúl Sánchez, a Colombian plastic artist, who has been living anonymously in Verdun for a year and a half, and who can be considered a true runaway talent.
He’s only 46 years old, but his works have been exhibited in galleries around the world: Madrid, Estambul, Dallas, Havana, United States, Greece, and his homeland. His pieces are found in the gatherings of the most prestigious collectors. Some of Saúl’s works have already been exhibited in Montreal: last year he was invited to the collective exhibit Domestique at Cache Studio and Gallery.
In 2015 he was awarded the Fulbright scholarship, the most important international exchange program in the world, to study a master in the arts at the Parson New School of Design, one of the top private universities in New York.
Saúl has received awards from the Colombian Ministry of Culture and obtained the Young Artists Award from the Alliance Française of Bogotá, among other distinctions.
Almost like his personal anonymity, his artwork is subtle, nearly unnoticed. The best known is the collection of soda caps on which he makes miniature paintings with very fine brushes. On a tiny scale he masterfully achieves close to hyper-realistic images. Urban landscapes on soda caps, Artistic portable objects. Yes, to really see them you need a magnifying glass.
His work produces more questions than answers, but in general, it intends to generate reflections on the relevance of painting in times when the artificial intelligence easily creates perfect synthetic images. Also, around consumption and what is considered art or a waste element, since the recycled cap ends up being part of the work and not only its support. In Montreal he has found soda caps embedded in some Metro stations, and he is following them up and photographically recording them because he intuits that right there, he will find another element for his artistic process.
Today, he continues his professional formation in 3D animation and visual effects to explore new fields of expression. Additionally, together with other artists from the Verdun area, he is developing a publishing project for children that he hopes will be completed before the end of this year.
The smallest things usually hold the most valuable treasures. And the anonymous faces are often the most surprising ones. So, the next time you walk in your neighborhood, take a good look at who you meet, you might run into an escaped talent, on a corner of Nun’s Island boulevard, waiting to take the bus on route 168…