Edwin Salas is a powerful and distinctive creative force. His darkly comic style carries through his printmaking, painting, collage, kinetic sculpture, puppetry, and performing art.
His "Happy Dark Place" work explores pop cultural references, classical, lowbrow, and domestic art, as well as the childhood obsessions that inhabit his psyche, all through a "creepy" lens that is informed by his childhood in Mexico and influences like the work of Guillermo del Toro.
When we entered the studio, it was clear this film would be unique. Half art studio and half museum of oddities and toys, the space was filled with things Edwin had collected over the years. Each has a special memory or story to be had.
The more we spoke to Edwin, the more his fantastic story began to unravel. He grew up in Mexico, making art as a child, traveled the world performing puppet shows, and made toys inspired by the American pop culture he enjoyed in movies and television.
While his story and studio were endlessly fascinating to explore, his unique take on making art was genuinely inspiring. While some artists (myself included) focus intently on the perfection of a piece, Edwin chooses to focus on having fun in the experience. "History can tell what is good and what is bad, but I think everyone needs to make something," he explains.
This focus on process over perfection could be the reason Edwin creates an insane amount of work. When you see him at The Big Crafty, his booth is overflowing with original pieces. In addition to his print work, he builds puppets, creates toys, and explores performance art while being one of the happiest and most outgoing people you will meet.
We're so grateful to the multi-talented Edwin for this deeply personal peek into his inventive process and home studio, where Bootleg Star Wars figures, collections of figurines, bones, and posters served as a dreamy backdrop.
To learn more about Edwin and his art, visit his site at EdwinSalasArt.com. He is a regular attendee of the Asheville Fringe Fest and The Big Crafty, and you can find his work at Horse and Hero.