A Cuban-American whose parents fled Castro’s Havana with him still in the womb, Walter Salas-Humara was raised bilingual just across the Florida Straits in Fort Lauderdale. A musician and a painter since childhood, Walter has spent most of his adult life living and working in New York City.

Spirit Elk Series - Artist Statement

“Painting is a peculiar miracle that I need to have again and again. It’s a struggle against a blank canvas and a spiritual void. I do not literally paint the animal, but the emotion it produces upon me. I focus on movement, texture and light. My goal is to recapture the mysterious by discovering the internal and external world anew. My renderings focus on emotive effect, rather than manifesting a sense of true physical space. I look at an animal or plant and I see shape, color and tone. Then I find those that will make the work alive and vibrate. I have neither rules nor method. I look to art for a direct experience. I revel in the drag, the smear, the splash and flow of liquid color, in the physicality of the strokes. The shapes and hues assert themselves and interact with one another, as if in conversation. What I am seeking is not the real and not the unreal but rather the unconscious and the instinctive. I start a picture and I finish it. I don’t think about art while I work. I think about life.”