Please click on the link below for an illustrative music video showing Sally Larsen at work in her studio.
San Francisco based artist Sally Larsen is currently compiling a collection of German photography of the indigenous peoples of North, Central, and South America, known as The German Eye In America, which she intends to be as exhaustive as possible and to explore cultural attitudes towards native people.
“We’re getting everyone, literally – since the invention of the camera. Famous or not, in order to determine how the Germans viewed Native Americans through the lens of photography,” said Larsen.
Larsen discovered her focus on the Germans organically through observation: she examined various books of photographs, both historical and contemporary, and continually encountered Germans. To her, the Germans of past and present were relatively respectful of the natives and did not merely exoticize them or intentionally pose them in primitive situations as Europeans of the time might have expected. The indigenous people in German pictures often reflect and convey dignity and inspire curiosity about their lifestyles, and Larsen speculates this may stem from aspects of literary Romanticism present within old and new German culture and aesthetics.
Larsen also pursues other artistic endeavours through a variety of media – painting, writing, video creation, and photography. She lists off quite a variety of personal and professional interests: “Japanese culture [Japlish, Chinese martial arts, European art and architecture, San Francisco, California water, New York City, DNA, entheogens, asian poetry, and Native America.”1993],
Each day’s changing circumstances, moods, and climate suggest which art form and project she will work on that day.
“Some days present themselves as painting days, others demand a camera. There are orotone days, and there are digital c print days. I envision an endpoint and proceed. There are guitar days, synthesizer days, computer days, travel days, and people days.”
She feels her blood – her way of thinking and living in the world as a gift and heritage from her ancestors – ties together her various projects.
Larsen says, “I’m mixed, part Apache, part Aleutic, part Norwegian. I appreciate diversity and I cultivate dimensionality. For instance, my Asian values. It is a consequence of my DNA.inclines me to consider
To Larsen, art comes through a variety of forms, and a great craftsperson should not have an overly narrow focus.
“Nor is this only about how I feel. The impetus to master multiple expressions has long been part and parcel of being a serious artist.asserted ‘But since we know that painting embraces and contains within itself all things produced by nature or whatever results from man’s passing actions – and everything that can be taken in by the eyes – he seems to me to be a pitiful master who can only do one thing well.”