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Surreal Salon IV

Fifty-eight artists from 26 states - selected by Greg 'Craola' Simkins - Featured During Surreal Salon 9


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



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 was done via a completely blind process, meaning the juror did not know the names of the artists or where they lived prior to their selection. 

Check out the entire Surreal Salon 9 exhibition here

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 was once again renewed 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.

In conjunction with Surreal Salon 9, the LSU School of Art hosted a free talk with Simkins on Monday, January 23 at 5 p.m. During the informal presentation, he discussed his own work, his career, pop-surrealism as a movement, and some of the works featured in Surreal Salon 9.

The work selected by the exhibition’s juror as “Best in Show” for Surreal Salon 9 (Alison Stinely's "Rib Meat") 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. 

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

On Saturday, January 21, 2017, BRG hosted the Surreal Salon Soiree, a special night celebrating the exhibition. The event included hundreds of wonderfully-costumed guests - each channeling their own pop-surrealist visions - enjoying 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.” 

The 2017 Soiree featured music and more from Moon Honey, hands-on experiences with virtual reality sculpting (via TurboSquid), beats from AF THE NAYSAYER, interactive puppets from local artist Clay Achee (as seen on HitRECord) and more! Just scroll down to purchase your tickets.

About Moon Honey: Jessica Ramsey (vocals) and Andrew Martin’s (guitar) collaboration began in a small horse stable home in the back swamps of Louisiana in 2013. Within two weeks of meeting, the two declared each other “musical soul mates,” and Moon Honey was born. Their vigorous work ethic and unorthodox approach to songwriting culminated in the critically acclaimed debut album "Hand-Painted Dream Photographs," mixed by Greg Saunier (Deerhoof). The unlikely collision of Bjork-esque melodies with late 60’s inspired, freak-out guitar riffs landed the band in The New York Times, NOISEY, and NPR, launching a number of cross country tour performances including an in-studio KEXP session and official SXSW showcases featured on NPR’s Top 100 Acts. After garnering a vigilant west coast following, the pair relocated from Baton Rouge to Los Angeles in 2015.
"Whirlwind virtuosity, extremes of delicacy and impact, melodies that leap all over the place..." - The New York Times

About AF THE NAYSAYER: Amahl Abdul-Khaliq is AF THE NAYSAYER - a flourishing producer in the electronic and instrumental hip-hop world. Within the last two years this New Orleans-based, Los Angeles-bred producer has dispersed his atmospheric productions across 70 cities and at over 300 shows in the US alone. His sound has been categorized as "electrifying soul-hop" whose core is best described by Atlanta producer DISTAL as, "Layered, intelligent design with a simple and easily digestible delivery."


Stay tuned for details on Surreal Salon 10, coming in January, 2018. 
For more information on Surreal Salon, including any questions regarding submitting work for future Surreal Salon exhibitions, contact Baton Rouge Gallery at 225.383.1470.