Sal Salandra - Iron Halo
Sal Salandra was introduced to needlepoint by his mother-in-law in the early 1980s, as a way to pass the time as he recovered from a serious back injury. The second-generation Italian-American hairdresser started off creating traditional motifs — flowers and birds — but over the last decade his relationship to the medium evolved, and it’s become an outlet to explore the depths of his psychosexual desires.
The artist’s highly-detailed narratives are in the lineage of both Tom of Finland and Hieronymus Bosch. His canvases confront viewers with the joy, fear, catharsis, pleasure, and eccentricities imbued in fetish. In Salandra’s images, themes of repression, liberation, masculinity, worship, identity, and desire are combined with personal history, pop culture, and the life-long psychological impact of the Catholic Church’s perverse power dynamics. Each of the intricate 14 pieces depicted in this book is a testament to the artist’s liberation from the “Iron Halo,” a metaphor he uses to describe society’s many powerful forces of sexual control.
Published by Blurring Books, 36 pgs, 28 × 21.4 cm, Softcover, 2023, 979-8-9861975-3-1