Painting the Human Story | Guided Tour of Sebastian Salvo’s Exhibition EXODOS | The Cave of Apelles

Exodos is the title of Sebastian Salvo’s latest solo exhibition, uncovering his fables in a harmonious totality. The paintings are rough, warm and glowing, some of which are strikingly similar to the Late Rembrandt. For three years, Salvo studied with Odd Nerdrum, whose timeless pictures inspired his pupil’s way of employing archetypes and myths. Outsiders is a recurring theme in Salvo’s work — best described as dreamlike visions, grounded in the classical understanding of the human figure.
Self-portraits are at the very heart of his imagery. He places himself in the role of the eternal wanderer, inviting us to partake on his journey, encountering Dionysian maidens of every kind, from water nymphs to raving, frenzied maenads.
As a painter, Salvo has taken great interest in the fierce competition among craftsmen in Ancient Greece and 15th century Europe. Competing by imitation, he draws inspiration from living as well as historical painters, be it Nerdrum, Hertervig, Titian or El Greco.
Visions, dreams, and personal experience are all at play when Salvo is telling a story. But it is not his story. It is the human story. The one we all know and will always know to the end of time.
And when he is able to capture the character in a face, Salvo’s paintings are competing alongside the masterworks of history.

01:00 Introduction
02:15 Maya
03:43 Midnight Wanderer
04:39 Round tour
05:44 The Flame
08:04 The Poet
09:49 Intermezzo
10:37 King of Rags
13:25 Closing remarks

▶️ Full video: (32 min)
🎵 Full audio:

Fergus Ryan
Matthias Proy
Børge Moe


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  • Apelles was asked why he touched and retouched his pictures with so much care, to which he replied:
    "I paint for eternity"