Salvador Dominguez (American, born 1985 in Zacatecas, Mexico) attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a concentration in drawing, painting, and sculpture. His experience with bronze casting led to a second career in manufacturing and design. He currently holds the position of Assistant Director of Design and Development in a Chicago based, art and design, foundry. This experience has nurtured a closer exploration of both art and design within his own practice.
Image: Wheelbarrow Lounge Chair and 5 Gallon Side Table
Like many first-generation immigrants, language is an important part of my narrative. Not just in terms of communication but also in its relevance within a broader contemporary American culture. Growing up in Pomona, CA (a blue collar, mid to lower income suburb of Los Angeles with a 70% Latino/Hispanic population) exposed me to conflicting viewpoints that, from a young age, have resulted in continuous self cross-examination.
It has been this process of examining that has lead me to catalog childhood memories. These morph into iconographies, which I use as markers throughout my work. The result of this exploration is a new landscape, made up of a collection of compositions and gestures in which competing materials and imagery are arranged in unity, overlaid by traditional blue-collar practices. The consequential objects become relics. I grew up in an environment where trade and craft are used interchangeably as currency, as a result I find myself embracing physical processes in exploring the relationship between material and identity.
The term “Mexican-American” is a direct representation of my visual vocabulary. Cast in the role of interpreter between two worlds, I reference both. I don’t aim to highlight cultural differences, instead in examining my version of what it means to be an immigrant through the lens of assimilation it’s become most important to define the overlapping similarities. My ambition is to bring both worlds together by educating viewers who come from where I grew up about contemporary art and the contemporary art world about where I come from.