JUAN MIGUEL SANTIAGO
For the past year and a half, I explored a narrative inspired by the characteristics of an Asian woman figurine mold. Her face, expressionless and static, gives me an impression of stoicism and contentedness, as if no amount of time or pressure could alter her composure. Her overall posture seems unassuming yet it compels me to adjust my understanding of hierarchy – is she bowed by greater strengths or is she the source of the strength itself? It is through the process of slip casting that she becomes a blank canvas. Layers of drizzled porcelain slip create a flowing candle wax effect that dresses her completely, removing all associations of culture, class and religion, even muting her gender. Color and glazes are neglected to add focus on her “values” through light and shadow.
Random “plaster molds” are sources of inspiration for the irregular terrains of both natural and imaginative landscapes, and the combination of geometry and organic forms suggest points of connections between otherwise unassociated objects. Viewing the “landscape” while moving reveals changing perspectives, as well as these “points of connection,” much as traveling an emotional landscape can inform new awareness of self and relationships.
Systemic structures illustrate my work process and have been apparent through out the different stages of working within the studio walls. Besides taking inspiration from the “natural world” outside, I continue to develop a formalist / minimalist aesthetic which highlights new archetypal images and forms.
Architects of archetypes…
Engineers of human emotional constructs…
Our creative efforts bridge art and life.