Moises Salazar
Invited by Emily Willis

OC: Where is your current studio (city, state)?
MS: Chicago, Illinois

OC: How long have you been working in clay?
MS: I have only been working 2 years with clay

OC: What is your favorite thing about clay/the ceramic process?
MS: To me the process is very similar to oil painting. I come from a very heavy painting practice and I always struggled to find a material, in sculpture, that is as free/forgiving and close to the process I already have.  When I paint I make a layer, then wait for it to dry, paint another layer and wait for it to dry. Working with clay is the same. You throw something on the wheel and let it dry. I hand build a structure and I have to let it dry until I can keep one going.  Waiting for the right time to do something has been embedded in my practice because of my painting background and ceramics fits into that process. I’m used to waiting and allowing the material to do what it is suppose to do.

OC: What do you feel is your role as an artist? 
MS: As an artist I believe my role is to present new possibilities for exploited people, undocumented immigrants and people of color. I come from a long history of laborers and ancestors that came to the U.S to find opportunity. In the eyes of some American citizens these people are criminals, but they are my heroes and the reason why I have the privilege of being a U.S citizen. My role as an artist is to show their history and have a broader discussion of their struggle; to show how we can engage with the current situation in which these people still find themselves. I am an artist of color and I make it my mission to discuss the values and concerns of people of color in my artwork. I wish to reclaim, our stories, our culture and image.

To find out more about Moises and his work, please visit his website: