"I never like to judge other peoples'," says Ron English, the famed pop surrealist painter about being the guest juror for Surreal Salon 10, an annual juried competition at Baton Rouge Gallery in Louisiana. "Every artist is on their own journey, and they are all different places in that journey. That said, several pieces stood out for me, and curating this show was a delightful surprise." As Jason Andreasen of the Baton Rouge Gallery notes, "Ron English put together a great exhibition for us that featured 62 artists from 19 states and five different countries. The show was the result of more than 600 works submitted for English's consideration from all corners of the globe."
Each year, the Surreal Salon juried exhibition culminates in the now infamous "Surreal Salon Soiree," which this year took place on January 28, 2018. From costumed guests to puppet shows and live music, it's one of the year's best events that celebrates the low brow and pop surreal art movements. And in past years, Juxtapoz co-founder Greg Escalante, Josh “Shag” Agle, Liz McGrath and Greg “Craola” Simkins have been jurors. But this year was about the eye of Ron English.
"The Surreal Salon 10 show felt like an early spring rebirth of new flowers, reminding me again that creativity is constantly renewed by each generation of artists," English told Juxtapoz. "The choice for best in show was difficult, as there was such a diverse representation of genre, technique and subject matter."
And of course, there isn't going to be a competition unless there is a winner, and Best in Show at the 2018 Surreal Salon was Starting Something You Can't Finish by Heidi Taillefer of Quebec. See the work below.
"I chose Heidi Taillefer’s Starting Something You Can’t Finish because it had everything," English said. "Originality of vision demonstrated by an individual artist coupled with a reverence for Pop Surrealism, encapsulating the technical agility and sharp imagination that has defined the Pop Surrealist movement."
In the gallery above, please check out some of the other finalitsts and photos from the Surreal Salon Soiree. Stay tuned to Juxtapoz.com for a full interview with Heidi Tailleffer.
The event is created in association with the LSU School of Art. All photos by Julia Rose Photo