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Artists’ Talk – LATELY: Cooper Salmon & Selby Sohn

June 8 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm


Artists’ Talk
Saturday, June 8th at 2pm

Please join us to hear from artists Cooper Salmon and Selby Sohn as they discuss their work, curated by New York-based writer Alana Heiss in LATELY at Transmission Gallery, starting at 2 pm on Saturday, June 8th.

Cooper’s work on display here is what you could call genre painting—a practice depicting scenes of everyday life. These canvases are based on real life photos of parties, living rooms, and small Bay Area institutions like the Moler Barber College, where we see Cooper getting a haircut from a student barber, or the White Horse Inn, where a quiet moment of finger-holding flirtation (and the White Horse’s old red wall color) is immortalized.

Cooper documents, as he describes, “the real way that people act and dress…through a veneer of psychedelic color and cartoonishness.” His paintings seem to pop off the wall with vibrant hues, reminding me of Annie Dillard’s quote: How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. For Cooper, the everyday is electric, pulsing sometimes fast, sometimes slow with the energy that animates life—the greatest cartoon of all.

Meanwhile, Selby Sohn’s new body of work, !!! (2024), pops off the wall. As Sohn writes:

“When I was at the Mountain School of Arts, we talked to D.V. DeVincentis, who discussed preexisting knowledge — television based on material that an audience is already familiar with, like the Barbie movie. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that everything in my life, in the art world, in reality, is preexisting knowledge, even abstract painting. All symbolism predates us, and we decide to cohere ourselves to those meanings. We wear clothes that existed before us and speak with invented words. When we choose to adorn ourselves, it is a way of us becoming that thing. I think about this when I use exclamation points. Am I softening the tone? Am I excited? My communications leave me traveling through the ether of the internet, landing in someone else’s mind, producing brain chemicals. They shift how that person feels, sometimes slightly, sometimes wildly. I wanted to personify my exclamation points and meld onto me what already feels affixed, to embody what I convey.”

Lately runs from May 9 – June 22, 2024 at Transmission Gallery in Oakland, CA. Join us for an opening reception on Saturday, May 11 from 1-4pm and an artist talk with Cooper and Selby on Saturday, June 8 at 2pm.

Artist bios
Cooper Salmon is a painter and educator from Sacramento, California. He received his BFA in Painting/Drawing from California College of the Arts in 2019 and is currently a 2025 MFA candidate at Stanford University. He won the William and Gloria Brobeck Scholarship from CCA and the University Schools Innovation Award from University of Memphis Middle School for his unique approach to classroom learning as a fine arts instructor.

His work has been included in solo and group shows at Bay Area institutions including Soft Times Gallery, / (Slash), WERKSHACK Gallery, Gearbox Gallery, and Palo Alto Art Center, among others.

Selby Sohn is a Bay Area artist who makes objects and actions on the brink of utility. They consider both the tech industry’s hyperbolic usefulness and art history’s valuing of objects without utility. Most of their projects involve wearable sculptures that think largely about queering use — for example, in the piece Long Arms, Selby made arm extensions that allow people to slow dance from farther away. In their performance pieces, they also consider audience members to be performers.
Selby has a BA in art from UCLA and attended the Mountain School of the Arts in Los Angeles. They have taken many classes through the San Francisco Art Institute Public Education program and are currently in the last SFAI class — the school has shut down, but the class is still going.

Selby has exhibited nationally, internationally, and in outer space. Right now, their work is on a NASA PACE-1 satellite orbiting Earth. They have also exhibited work at Liminal Space, NIAD Art Center, the de Young Museum, 500 Capp Street (the David Ireland House), Dream Farm Commons, Berkeley Art Center, Root Division, Bass and Reiner in Minnesota Street Project, The Backyard Plague, Wave Collective Space, Cone Shape Top, the Edouard de Merlier Gallery at Cypress College, Flowers Art Gallery, Mercury 20 Gallery, The Faight Collective, The Search, Thee Stork Club, ATA Window Gallery, F8, Mission Bowling Club, Daily Diver, Borderline Art Collective, On-Off Site, Pacific Art League, A|AH|D Gallery at the University of Notre Dame, SOMArts, East Window in Boulder, Colorado, the City of Palo Alto Public Art Program, Fish Factory Art Space in Penryn, Cornwall, UK, and Supermarket in Stockholm, Sweden.

Selby curates a space called Your Mood Projects in Dogpatch, San Francisco, and their writing is published in KQED, Squarecylinder, The Racket Journal, Third Iris, Journal.fyi, and the LA Telephone Book.


June 8
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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Transmission Gallery
(510) 835-2626
View Organizer Website


Transmission Gallery
770 West Grand Ave., Suite A
Oakland, CA 94612 United States
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(510) 835-2626
View Venue Website