hello everybody – my name is david santiago.
Devoid of clothing, the women of St Jame are known for being nude. However, a closer examination reveals a deeper level of exposure. Each work is built atop a wood panel hand-picked by the artist, with a variety of mediums – primarily charcoal and pastel, but also acrylic, ink and makeup, bringing them to life. Yet, even staring back at you, blushing with awareness, they reveal a transparency preserved despite the layers of mediums, a hint of wood grain that recalls what they are really made of. This inception of meaning, details within a detail, continue across each face – their freckles, “sun spots,” are actually stars in disguise, a constellation hidden somewhere within their array. Even the artist’s signature “St Jame” is something of a puzzle, a derivation of his last name – St Jame > Saint James > Santo Yago > Santiago.
Santiago was born and raised in Albuquerque, NM, and spent his early years as a Hawaiian shirt wearing – rolly-back pack pulling superfan of the film Titanic. Eventually, he forsook the former and embraced the latter, becoming a charcoal artist specializing in female portraiture. A graduate of the University of New Mexico with a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, Santiago discovered many of the techniques and mediums he still uses, as well as a love of art, and work ethic that can only be born from architecture school’s rigorous sleep depriving demands. Santiago is the exclusive artist of Tractor Brewing Company, and has shown, and been published nationally.
For Santiago, art is a passion, constantly evolving through artistic experimentation and experience. Each piece is defined not only as a final product, but also through the process, materials, and ideas that went into its creation. In observing a glimpse of its wood grained origin within the final product, viewers are allowed to be part of the artistic journey and reflect on their own path to that moment. It allows them to delve deeper, be reflective, exposed, naked with the art.
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