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Vladimir Salamun was born in New York City, in 1942. He received a BA from Rutgers University in 1963, and later studied with Nicholas Carrone in 1964, and at the New York Studio School, with George Spaventa, in 1965. Salamun earned an MFA from the Pratt Institute in 1976. In 1972, Salamun received the Purchase Prize of the New York International Coliseum. His work has been shown extensively in group and solo shows, including exhibitions at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center in Staten Island, The National Arts Club in New York, the Joslyn Museum in Omaha, Nebraska, and Thomas Segal Gallery in Boston. He was first shown at Allan Stone Gallery in 1978. Salamun lives and works in Pennsylvania.
Working regularly as carpenter, builder and joiner, Vladimir Salamun began to see objects like hammers in the same way a word begins to look strange or misspelled after it has been scrutinized for too long. In the late 1980s, the hammer became a serial obsession of the artist, and he proceeded to deface, repurpose, and humorize the humblest and most practical of objects. There are hammers that make puns, ones that pay homage to great masters, others that share anecdotes, make play on cultish objects, and others that present a muse-like obsession with the handyman’s stalwart. The artist’s expertise in high-crafts lends to the precision which his sculptures require. A hybrid mixture of Folk Art, Funk Art, Dada, and Surrealism, Salamun’s practice most closely mirrors that of H.C. Westermann, in his use of wit and craftsman’s expertise to elevate American crafts to high art appeal.