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Surreal Salon IV

Artists to be Featured in Surreal Salon 9 - as selected by Special Guest Juror Greg 'Craola' Simkins - announced 


Baton Rouge Gallery – center for contemporary art (“BRG”) is proud to announce the 58 artists (representing 26 different states) that have been selected for inclusion in Surreal Salon 9. The national juried exhibition highlights the growing quality and popularity of the pop-surrealist/lowbrow movement in American contemporary art. This year's exhibition was juried by one of the most respected artists working within that movement, Greg “Craola” Simkins.

The exhibition will be held January 4 - 26, 2017 at BRG (located inside the Recreation and Park Commission of East Baton Rouge Parish’s (“BREC”) historic City Park (1515 Dalrymple Dr.). During the show’s run, it will be open to the public, free of charge, during normal gallery hours (Tuesday-Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.).

For Surreal Salon 9, more artists than ever before were considered for inclusion. In all over 700 works from more than 300 artists were submitted with 63 pieces ultimately being selected for the exhibition. The jurying process was done completely blind, meaning the juror did not know the names of the artists or where they lived prior to their selection. 

Check out Juxtapoz Magazine's editorial on Surreal Salon 8.

Over the years, Surreal Salon has enlisted well-known and well-respected jurors for Surreal Salon – including gallerist and co-founder of Juxtapoz Magazine, Greg Escalante and internationally-renowned artists such as Josh “Shag” Agle and Elizabeth McGrath - to assist in making Surreal Salon as artistically engaging as possible. That tradition is once again renewed with one the most respected artists in pop-surrealism today with Greg “Craola” Simkins serving as Special Guest Juror and personally selecting each work to be included in the exhibition from the submissions received. 

Simkins is a Los Angeles based artist who began drawing at the early age of three and was inspired by various cartoons and books. At the age of 18, Simkins started doing graffiti under the name “Craola.” Graffiti art became his impetus for creating and gave him the confidence to paint large works.  In addition it taught him perspective, color theory and further developed his artistic skills, which later translated into his work with acrylics. It is his careful weaving of pop culture, the old masters, nature, carnival kitsch, and (most importantly) his warped imagination, that makes Greg "Craola" Simkins a sought-after surrealist painter today. Simkins’ artwork has appeared in museums and galleries throughout the world.

The work selected by the exhibition’s juror as “Best in Show” for Surreal Salon 9 will be prominently featured in an editorial on the exhibition that will be seen by millions the world over in an upcoming 2017 issue of Juxtapoz Magazine. The artist’s work will appear (with title and medium listed) and will be recognized as “Best in Show” for Surreal Salon 9.


On Saturday, January 21, 2017, BRG will host a special night, the Surreal Salon Soiree, to celebrate the exhibition. In years past, the event has included hundreds of wonderfully-costumed guests, channeling their own pop-surrealist visions, live music, interactive experiences and more. After experiencing the Soiree for the first time in 2014, the aforementioned Greg Escalante said, “I thought it was arguably the best party I ever attended.” 

To get a taste of the 2016 Soiree, check out the video here or visit BRG’s Facebook page for an entire album of photos from the big night.
Announcements regarding the 2017 Surreal Salon Soiree, including how to purchase advance tickets, will be coming soon. Stay tuned!
For more information on the upcoming Surreal Salon 9, including any questions regarding submitting work for future Surreal Salon exhibitions, contact Baton Rouge Gallery at 225.383.1470.