Rat Temple Milk
This painting depicts a gathering of rats around a bowl of milk on what appears to be a small apartment balcony. A figure's hands are seen in the composition, holding a liquid that either reflects or is a human face. The artist's work questions the concept of selfhood while exploring its edges. Salonen's compositions frequently depict the human inextricably entangled within global networks, or as a holobiont—a discrete ecological unit composed of a host and related organisms and species. The artist's work examines the psycho-social complexities and philosophical implications of ecological relationships, as well as trauma, materiality and the embodied experience of female subjectivity.
Anja Salonen’s colorful figurative paintings depict fantastical and imagined worlds of electric vibrancy—settings that exist on a spiritual plane outside of time and space. The artist draws inspiration from theories of discrete ecological entities consisting of a host organism and their dependents, or holobionts. Salonen’s work frequently envisions ecosystems of interconnected species that transcend our notions of human-animal interaction.
Anja Salonen was born in Los Angeles, California in 1994. The artist received a BFA from the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California in 2018. Salonen also studied at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island.
Solo exhibitions of Salonen’s work include: World as Lover, World as Self at Five Car Garage in Los Angeles, California (2021); The Key of Chiron at Five Car Garage in Los Angeles, California (2019); Lagomorph Labyrinth at SADE in Los Angeles, California (2018); Witch’s Butter or Star Spittle at California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California (2018); New Dimensions in Recreation at ltd los angeles in Los Angeles, California (2017); Second Skin at Lei Min Space in Los Angeles, California (2016); and Future Bodies at As It Stands in Los Angeles, California (2015).
Group exhibitions that have shown Salonen’s work include: You Lead Follow Me at Sow & Tailor in Los Angeles, California (2021); Jupiter’s Finger at Real Pain Fine Arts in Los Angeles, California (2021); We Used to Gather at Library Street Collective in Detroit, Michigan (2020); LA on Fire at Wilding Cran in Los Angeles, California (2019); Portraits at Foxy Production in New York City (2018); A Cat’s Meow at Sargent’s Daughters in New York City (2018); Four Artists at Fredericks & Freiser in New York City (2018).