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[ARTIST SPOTLIGHT] Mason Saltarrelli

To mark the launch of our latest art exhibition "It's Cozy Inside" Nepenthes NY set up an Artist Spotlight to delve further into the work showcased at the store.

In this special series, we interview the artists involved with the show. We ask them questions about their art, the exhibition, and what New York means to them. 

The second artist featured in the "It's Cozy Inside" Artist Spotlight is Mason Saltarrelli.  The interview continues below.



Please tell us a bit about your background. Where are you from? When did you come to New York? What does New York mean to you?

I was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. My first trip to NY was in 1993 to visit my friend Doc Cheatham the trumpet player. In 1997 I moved here and it’s been home ever since. New York and heart are synonymous to me.  



Please tell us a bit about your process. Why this medium? How do you choose your subjects? Is there an overarching theme The in your work?

My two primary surface mediums are canvas and paper. I repeat a small number of objects, a hairdo, a doll, an alligator and a few others figures. Acknowledging the energy of spirit is an important theme in my work.



Please tell us how you became involved with this group exhibition.

Koichi Sato and I are friends and fans of each other’s work. He kindly included me. 


You have stated that your work is primarily about narrative. How does this come out in your work?

An abstracted narrative is occurring in my work. I repeat ideas of the same forms over and over, but continue to alter their shapes and colors from surface to surface. Each piece informs past and future works. It’s a very slow story writing itself.

You recently began @paper_fables, circumventing the gallery system to provide work directly to customers. Do you believe this traditional system will survive the arrival of Instagram and more decentralized platforms? 

There is no replacement for experiencing art in person. I love going to museums and galleries and seeing artwork contextualized in peoples homes. Paper Fables is a very specific body of work and is not meant to replace the relationships I have with the galleries I work with and their hard work. It has been very nice to experience collectors sharing their stories firsthand of how my work relates to them and makes them happy. The project began during the pandemic and is intended to honor the importance of human connection and our shared experience.


The "It's Cozy Inside" exhibition is currently showing at Nepenthes NY, and will run through the end of March 2021.