A Painter Worth His Salt by Philip Krayna


A friend emailed me an image of an old, wrecked car. "I thought you would like this." It was a great photograph, well composed, well lit. And then on closer inspection I realized with incredulity that it was a meticulously rendered painting. This was my introduction to the work of British born photo-realist painter John Salt. The son of an auto wrecker, Salt relocated to Baltimore on a scholarship in 1967 and then to New York City. His father's vocation seems to have imparted a fascination with the broken, rusted cars that frequent the American roadside and these autos have been the primary subject matter throughout his more than 50 year career. Salt paints from slides and other photo based images, sometimes spending an entire year on one painting.