“In my Covidian Year” by William Salit
In My Covidian Year, William Salit
Conté and acrylic on panel
Diptych, each 12″ x 48″ (2020)
“I had to give myself over to it and see what it was my hand wanted to create, letting it find its way deep into the odd figure/landscape, into strange matings of the microscopic and the internal.”
Salit’s study of the figure, through life drawing, and his knowledge of the body, from his academic explorations into pre-med courses on microbiology and anatomy, offer a compellingly curious influence upon the tone and temperament of his creations.
Rich in color, dynamically layered, a peristalsis of texture, Salit’s rendering of In My Covidian Year encapsulates bizarre imaginings of impossible worlds- the abstract landscape of innards. Contoured contortions of the sensual viscera of nature depict a warped and rogue surrealism conjuring viral escapades through an aberrant ectodermal plasmasphere- one where an otherworldly conception of mucus and marrow offer a kind of intergalactic container of embodied interconnection.
In My Covidian Year invites an interactive dance between the viewer’s engaging gaze, swirling into and around this conte and acrylic-rendered diptych while turning our attention deeper within an ever-undulating, digesting organicity. Salit’s fantastical imagery leads us into- a 1-2-3- and spins us asunder, and- a 1-2-3- and dips us back into our own mysterious wilds, into the realms of the cellular, the fleshy, our boney, enigmatic embodiment, then glides us into the far reaches of the outer most realms depicting the synchronized steps of an inculcated, capoeiraic creation.
“There is the feeling…of ‘as above, so below,’ that the organization of the micro and macro echo each other.”
Further enticing is the Escher-like quality Salit stirs into the work, feeding us an all-consuming visual uncertainty about stability is our not knowing which way is up or down, inside or out, beginning or ending. So too are the cycles of cellular physiology: As we grow up in life we concomitantly tumble down toward death; Never a standstill of the system; A simultaneous churning of regeneration and decay. Moreover, Salit’s work makes the viewer question the idea of inside/outside. Does it truly exist or are there merely only penetrable edges? Perhaps there is no there. There is only through…through the veins, the crevices, the caves, the vast spaces of meandering cellular packets of energy potentials appearing material, seemingly, gravitationally real.
Further into the philosophical nature of In My Covidian Year, Salit nods to the perpetual state of unknowingness; the ever-shifting terrain; a global shutdown. Are we being encouraged to consider here the inherent fallacy of trusting the very environment in which we exist? In My Covidian Year further evokes a presencing of the pandemic timeframe through its bizarre contortions and configurations, its outcroppings of confusions, the questioning and sequestering of the seemingly impossible of abhorrent aberrations.
Salit renders an abstract visual inquiry delving into the essence of nature; an illustration of evolutionary intricacies; an adapt or die prognosis. The work is a splendid pictorial conglomeration of metamorphic glitches and gnarls, perhaps entwined, a paralleled message on resilience: In a harrowing plight, one wherein trust might tank, forge ever forward through creative aspirations, the harnessing of a germinating hope.
-Meghan Lewis MacLeod, 2024