Up close, Santin’s surfaces are a stunning highly sculptured layering of oil and acrylic paint. Threads of color stream across, giving breath to the floating figure. Soft facial features and unblemished complexions are reminiscent of 15th century sfumato. Moreover, Santin echoes the breadth of Spanish Golden Age painting, especially the chiaroscuro found in El Greco’s, Luis de Morales’s and Velázquez’s work. Santin’s paintings are immediately contemporary and yet draw heavily from historical sources.
Unfolding in his works are pertinent issues about beauty and domesticity, about empathy and distancing. In his rugs, Santin weaves together marvelous Oriental designs, hinting at early Muslim and Mozarab arabesques found in medieval southern Spain. This important Islamic lineage in Spanish culture is evident in the grainy textural fabrics.
Born in 1978 in Madrid, Antonio Santin completed his MFA at Universidad Complutense de Madrid and Athens Fine Art School. He recently moved to New York after an eight-year stay in Berlin. His work has been exhibited in international museums, including the Kunstraum Bethanien, Berlin, Kunsterhaus Glogauer, Berlin, and the Centre dárt Contemporani Piramidon, Barcelona and can be found in numerous international collections.
Marc Straus Gallery