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Jorge Santos

Biography

Jorge Santos was born in 1959, and spent his childhood in Luanda, Angola on the coast of Africa. In 1975, Angola exploded in the violent political turmoil of decolonization forcing Santos’ family to flee the country. At the formative age of 16, Santos found himself thrust into the equally turbulent and unknown culture of Lisbon, Portugal as that country slid into its own revolution. The national struggle paralleled Santos’ own personal one and fueled his passion for drawing. At this early stage, pencil drawing, the most simple and direct form of expression, perfectly suited his complicated and dramatic images and expressed his unique vision.

Though of Portuguese descent, the following years brought the artist no sense of belonging, so in 1982, Santos moved to the United States. It was here that his work evolved beyond drawing. His illusory, dreamlike images that hint at bizarre secrets leapt from the drawing board to the full realization of paint and canvas.

In 1990, the self-taught Santos began adding color to his images and in this second period black and white figures stand out in stark contrast to their colored environments. Though the techniques combine acrylic and pencil on board, or oil and acrylic on canvas, a balance of opposites continued to be the focus of his work. With every painting, a stage of ambiguous illusion is created.

Suddenly, at the end of the millennium, Santos’ paintings burst into full color showing a mature command of his artistry. They are still surreal allegorical works but now tempered with the irony and humor of an eccentric yet adventurous mind.

Figures are frequently fragmented, boxed within rooms, cardboard containers, or trompe l’oeil frames. An unusual icon will repeat itself with humorous frequency: a fish, a plane, a train… His characters seem alienated, odd, socially awkward and disconnected; disconnected also from their backgrounds by texture and technique. The overall impact of the work is disturbing and yet endearingly funny.

While one could spend hours psychoanalyzing Santos’ imagery, perhaps the best path to understanding his work is of that of a master set designer who creates an emotional landscape and populates it with characters to be animated in the imaginations of his viewers. Santos sets the stage and creates the cast, but each individual who sees the work writes his or her own internal play, making Santos’ work a unique, almost interactive, experience.

Artist Statement

I strive to create narratives that intrigue me. When done, the pieces make me wonder what will be the outcome in that particular situation.

I’m not a social critic or commentator.

Whether tapping into the collective subconscious or not, a single photo of a placid lake can be the starting point of one complex narrative in my mind.

I want to create a new story every time in each painting, but also want to ensure the question for the viewer never fails to be, “What will happen next…?”

CV

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2013 101 Exhibit, Los Angeles, CA
2010 101 Exhibit, Miami, FL
2009 Nicolaysen Museum, Casper WY
2009 Evan Lurie Gallery, Carmel IN
2008 Klaudia Marr Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
2007 George Billis Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2006 Andrea Schwartz Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2005 Gallery Saint Germain, W. Hollywood, CA
2004 Glass Garage Gallery, West Hollywood, CA
2004 Lurie Fine Art Gallery, Bocaraton, FL
2003 Glass Garage Gallery, West Hollywood, CA
2002 Glass Garage Gallery, West Hollywood, CA
2001 Glass Garage Gallery, West Hollywood, CA
2000 Mendenhall Gallery, Pasadena, CA
1999 Mendenhall Gallery, Pasadena, CA
1993 Louis Newman Galleries, Beverly Hills, CA
1993 Art of Hands Gallery, Costa Mesa, CA
1993 MRL Gallery, Long Beach, CA
1992 MRL Gallery, Long Beach, CA
1991 MRL Gallery, Long Beach, CA
1990 MRL Gallery, Long Beach, CA
1989 MRL Gallery, Long Beach, CA

Selected Group Exhibitions

2017 Art Palm Beach, Palm Beach, FL
2017 Art Market, San Francisco, CA
2017 Art Market, Bridgehampton, NY
2017 Scope, Miami, FL
2017 Red Dot, Miami, FL
2017 Art San Diego, Del Mar, CA
2016 Scope, Miami, FL
2016 101 Exhibit, Los Angeles, CA
2016 Art Los Angeles Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA
2016 artMRKT Hamptons, Bridgehampton, NY
2016 Art South Hampton, Southhampton, NY
2016 EVOKE Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
2016 Art Aspen, Aspen, CO
2016 Art Boca Raton, Boca Raton, FL
2016 Art Palm Springs, Palm Springs, CA
2015 Scope, Miami, FL
2015 Houston Fine Art, Houston, TX
2015 Art Aspen, Aspen, CO
2015 Art Hamptons, Bridgehampton, NY
2015 EVOKE Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
2014 Houston Fine Art, Houston, TX
2014 ArtMRKT Hamptons, Bridgehampton, NY
2014 Art Hamptons, Bridgehampton, NY
2014 EVOKE Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
2014 Art Palm Beach, Palm Beach, FL
2013 Miami Project, Miami, FL
2013 Scope, Miami FL
2013 Houston Fine ART, Houston, TX
2013 artMRKT Hamptons, Bridgehampton, NY
2013 Art Hamptons, Bridgehampton, NY
2013 LA ART Show, Los Angeles, CA
2013 Art Palm Beach, Palm Beach, FL
2012 Art Miami, Miami, FL
2012 SCOPE, Miami, FL
2012 artMRKT Hamptons, Bridgehampton, NY
2012 EVOKE Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
2012 101/Exhibit, Miami, FL
2012 Evan Lurie Gallery, Carmel IN
2012 San Francisco Fine Art Fair, San Francisco, CA
2012 Art Platform, Santa Monica, CA
2012 Art South Hampton, Southhampton, NY
2012 Houston Fine Art Fair, Houston, TX
2011 SCOPE, Miami, FL
2011 Red Dot, Miami, FL
2011 Art Hamptons, Bridgehampton, NY
2011 artMRKT Hamptons, Bridgehampton, NY
2011 EVOKE Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
2011 Art Palm Beach, Palm Beach, FL
2011 Art Los Angles Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA
2011 Art Chicago, Chicago, IL
2011 San Francisco Art Fair, San Francisco, CA
2010 SCOPE, Miami, FL
2010 George Billis Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2009 George Billis Gallery, New York, NY
2009 Klaudia Marr Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
2008 George Billis Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2008 Evan Lurie Gallery, Carmel, IN
2008 Laguna Beach Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA
2008 LA Art Fair, Los Angeles, CA
2007 Lurie Galleries, Miami, FL
2007 Klaudia Marr Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
2007 Evan Lurie Gallery, Carmel, IN
2007 Naomi Silva Gallery, Atlanta, GA
2006 Andrea Schwartz Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2006 7-0-7 Contemporary Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
2006 SOHO Fine Art Galleries, Studio City, CA
2006 Art Chicago, Chicago, IL
2006 Lurie Galleries, Miami, FL.
2005 Gallery Saint Germain, W. Hollywood, CA
2005 LA Art Fair, Los Angeles, CA
2005 Kent Gallery, Key West, FL
2005 Mendenhall Sobieski Gallery, Pasadena, CA
2004 Kent Gallery, Key West, FL
2004 Broadway Gallery, Fort Lauderdale, FL
2003 Glass Garage Gallery, West Hollywood, CA
2002 Soho Gallery, Studio City, CA
2002 Greenwood Chebithes Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA
2001 Glass Garage Gallery, West Hollywood, CA
2000 Mendenhall Gallery, Pasadena, CA
1999 Mendenhall Gallery, Pasadena,CA.
1998 Modernism Show, Santa Monica, CA
1998 Miami Art Fair, Miami, FL
1998 Mendenhall Gallery, Pasadena, CA
1997 Solomon Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
1997 MB Modern, New York, NY
1996 Horwitch Newman Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ
1996 Solomon Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
1995 Koplin Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
1994 Horwitch Newman Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ
1994 Louis Newman Galleries, Beverly Hills, CA
1994 Louis Newman Galleries, Beverly Hills, CA
1993 Artspace Gallery, Woodland Hills, CA
1993 Joslyn Art Center Gallery, Torrance, CA
1992 South Bay Contemporary Museum of Art, Torrance, CA
1992 LA Art Core, Los Angeles, CA
1991 Joslyn Art Center Gallery, Torrance, CA
1990 Harris Fine Art Center, Provo UT
1989 Orlando Gallery, Sherman Oaks, CA
1988 International Art Show Olympic Games, Seoul, Korea
1986 Joslyn Art Center Gallery, Torrance, CA

Selected Public Collections

The Nicolaysen Museum, Casper, Wyoming
Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, AR
Reading Public Museum and Art Gallery, Reading, PA

Selected Bibliography

American Art Collector 2 Page Write-up, April 2010
Write-up by Elenore Wells on Art Scene, April 2010
Casper Star Tribune, Write-up, May 2009
American Art Collector Magazine Cover and write-up, August 2008
JUXTAPOZ Magazine Cover and write-up. June 2006
Selected Bibliography, —-Gallery guide editorial September 2004
Daniella Walsh. “Review”, Orange County Register, December 2002.
Editor’s Profile “Jorge Santos” latimes.com Oct/99.
Rick Gilbert. “Enigmatism”. Juxtapoz, Sept/Octo, 1999.
Jeremy Rosenberg. “Jorge Santos’ Music To Our Eyes” Art Connoisseur, Sept/Octo, 1999.
Verdugo, John. “Profile: Jorge Santos”. NoMoPoMo, Winter/Spring, 1997.
Baron, Todd. “Jorge Santos, Robert Van Vraken, Paton Miller”. Art Scene, July/August, 1995.
Sylvia Townsend. “Brush with anger”. Life/Arts, Daily Breeze, June 5, 1991.
Mike Ramos. “Best Bets”, Los Angeles Times, November 1990.

Awards

1990 Honorable mention, Drawing Competition, Provo, Utah
1989 Outstanding Contribution in the Visual Arts from the City of Torrance
1988 Excellence Award from the Art Horizons Competition, New York.

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