For Spanish photographer Santiago, inspiration often strikes close to home. Originally from Valencia, the artist now resides in Vigo, a small Galician town near the Atlantic. Living in such close proximity to the ocean, the coast has become one of the stars of his oeuvre. Santiago transports the colors, light, and untamed spirit of the sea into his atmospheric images.
Fascinated with photography from an early age, Santiago learned the ins and outs of shooting with film. He later studied fine arts and put the camera aside in favor of a brush and easel. In recent years, he has rediscovered his passion for the medium of photography. The intervening period as a painter is manifest in the award-winning series, Lost in Nowhere. Sea, sky, and shore are rendered into vaguely recognizable streaks of light and color you might almost mistake for brushstrokes. The lone people in the pictures appear as though caught in a painting of a dream. Of course, the artworks are in fact, photographic: the result of technical and compositional mastery honed over the course of a lifetime.
With the solitary figures standing before the vaguely discernible, and staggeringly vast, expanse of the ocean, these works present a contemporary allusion to Caspar David Friedrich’s “Monk by the Sea.” In Santiago’s work, however, the figures are positioned closer to, or sometimes even in, a brilliant patch of light. No matter how you interpret this choice, these atmospheric images inspire profound contemplation.
Santiago was born in Valencia, Spain in 1967. After studying at the Faculty of Fine Arts, he worked as a painter for many years. His photographic work has earned him international renown and received many awards, including a First Prize at the Fine Art Photography Awards in 2017 and double bronze medals at the Prix de la Photographie de Paris in 2018. The artist lives and works in Vigo, Spain.