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Alejandro Santiago


Alejandro  Santiago

Twenty Five Hundred & One

In Alejandro Santiago's work we find ourselves faced by an innate colorist, a lover of alchemy and the sensual game created among forms, and initiate a dialogue with the viewer, in other cases, they simply pose in a complacent and misshapen attitude. Their penetrating gazes-created with only a dot, with a circle or an oval - surprise us; it is astounding that to the noisy party for the dead, that party of skeletons with which the Mexican people boisterously revive their spirituality, their knowledge that the soul does not die, and their understanding of eternity. Other ideas, both festive and non-festive, crisscross in the picture’s setting: ideas and maternity, dance, and fertility. All of them passed through the painter’s imagination, and he did not miss the opportunity to contain them and give them color. Santiago’s closest references include Tamayo and synthesis of line and plane to reappear in painting, perhaps by borrowing ideas from primitive art.







Born: 1964
Died: 2013


Curriculum Vitae

Solo Exhibitions
2013, Alejandro Santiago: 1964-2013, Skot Foreman Gallery, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
2009 Art of Oaxaca, Group Exhibition at Caldwell Snyder Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2007 2501 Migrantes, FORUM de las Culturas Monterrey, Mexico
2006 2501 Migrantes, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico
2005 Fragmentos, Casa Lamm, Mexico City, Mexico
2000 Fragmentos, Museo Casa Diego Rivera, Guanajuato, Mexico
1999 Artificios,Galería Quetzalli, Oaxaca, Mexico
1998 Alejandro Santiago, Galería Emma Molina, Monterrey, Mexico
1994 Alejandro Santiago, Galería Baudoin Lebon, París, France
1993 Florencia Riestra, Mexico City, Mexico
1992 Obra reciente, Galería Quetzalli, Oaxaca, Mexico
1989 Galería La Mano Mágica, Oaxaca, Mexico
1988 Galería Arte de Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico
Galería Pacífico, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
1986 Galería La Librería de la Calzada, Morelia, Mexico
1985 Galería El Sol y La Luna, Oaxaca, Mexico

Select Group Exhibitions
2014 Border Crossings/Cruzando Fronteras: Alejandro Santiago & Purvis Young, Skot Foreman Gallery, San Miguel de Allende, MX
2009 Caldwell Snyder Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Art Miami, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, Miami, FL
1997 Vicios y Virtudes de Nuestro Siglo, Festival del Centro Histórico de la Ciudad de México, Mexico
Zwischen Tradition und Magie, Hamburg, Germany
Los Mexicanos, Galería Quetzalli, Oaxaca, Mexico
Erbe und Gegenwart Maler aus Oaxaca, Los Mexicanos, Galería Quetzalli, Hamburg, Germany
1995 Opuestos y simultáneos: doce pintores, Casa Lamm y Galería Quetzalli, Oaxaca, Mexico
1994-95 Instituto Cultural Mexicano, Washington, D.C.
1994 Reinauguración, Galería Quetzalli, Oaxaca, Mexico
Mito y magia: Oaxaca pasado y presente, Centro Cultural de Palo Alto, Palo Alto, CA
1993 Siete pintores de Oaxaca, Galería Misrachi y Galería Quetzalli, Hotel Nikko, Mexico
Europalia '93, Brussels, Belgium
Oaxaca, Magia en México, Kunsthal Museum, Rotterdam, Netherlands
1992 Hechizo de Oaxaca, Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico
Inauguración, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico
Virtudes y voluntades hacia el siglo XXI, Secretaría de Hacienda, Mexico
Collage, Galería Quetzalli, Oaxaca, Mexico
Los hechiceros de la forma, itinerante, France
1991 Galería Ramis Barquet, Monterrey, Mexico
Pintores de Oaxaca, Instituto Francés de América Latina, Mexico
1990 Muestra de plástica Joven universitario, Museo de Oaxaca, Mexico
1989 La creación del hombre, leyenda zapoteca, Galería La Mano Mágica, Oaxaca, Mexico
Jóvenes artistas Oaxaqueños, Museo de Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico
Un poco, un poquito de muerte, Centro Cultural Ricardo Flores Magón, Oaxaca, Mexico
Museo Regional Potosino, San Luis Potosí, S.L.P., Mexico
Galería Quetzalli, Oaxaca, Mexico
Collage del siglo XX, Centro Cultural Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico
Galería Image, Portland, OR
Galería Raza Gráfica, San Francisco, CA
Hechizo de Oaxaca, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo MARCO, Monterrey, Mexico
1988 Primera muestra de artes plásticas Oaxaqueñas, Oaxaca, Mexico
Colectiva de verano, Galería Arte de Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico
Las artes plásticas Oaxaqueñas, Centro Cultural José Guadalupe Posada, Mexico City, Mexico
Teatro de la Ciudad, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, Mexico
Muertos, Galería La Mano Mágica, Oaxaca, Mexico
Muertos, Galería Arte de Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico
La escuela Oaxaqueña de pintores, Museo Nacional David J. Guzmán, San Salvador, El Salvador
Galería Pacífico, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico
Teatro Emilio Rabaza, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, Mexico
Grupo de artistas oaxaqueños, Galería Gilberto Trujillo, Mexico
1987 La plástica oaxaqueña, Galería del Auditorio Nacional, Mexico
Oaxaca en Oaxaca, Galería Arte de Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico
1986 Taller de gráfica oaxaqueña, Casa de la Cultura, Juchitán, Mexico
Oaxaca en la pintura, Consulado Mexicano, El Paso, TX
Diez pintores, Museo Regional de Antropología e Historia, Oaxaca, Mexico
Oaxaca en cuadro, Grupo CUADRO, Mexico City, Mexico
1984 Foro de Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City, Mexico
Instituto Francés de América Latina, Mexico City, Mexico
Galería El Sol y La Luna, Oaxaca, Mexico
Taller de gráfica Oaxaqueña, La Galería, San Cristóbal Las Casas, Chis, Mexico
Oaxaca y sus pintores mágicos, Centro Aldaba, Madrid, Spain
La magia de Oaxaca, Galería de Arte Acevedo, San Diego, CA
1983 Pinacoteca Universitaria José Jiménez de las Cuevas, Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, Mexico

Press Release

Huffington Post, July 22, 2013

Alejandro Santiago Dead: Famous Mexican Artist Famous Dies At 49

OAXACA, Mexico — Alejandro Santiago, a Mexican artist who filled the streets of his hometown with clay figures to represent the migrants who left for the United States, died Monday. He was 49. Santiago died of a heart attack, said Emilio de Leo, the Oaxaca state culture director. De Leo said Santiago had diabetes for years. "Our condolences go to the family of the great teacher and cultural promoter Alejandro Santiago, a loss to Oaxaca," Oaxaca Gov. Gabino Cue wrote on his Twitter account. Santiago, a painter and sculptor who studied in the workshop of Rufino Tamayo in Oaxaca, had shows in Mexico, the United States and Europe. His best known work was "2,501 Migrants," which opened in 2007 in his picturesque hometown of Teococuilco, in southern Oaxaca state. Financed with a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, it was an ambitious work to create an army of life-size clay figures to replace departed townspeople. He created the statues, each about 4-feet, 4-inches tall and 150 pounds, to represent the young people who had abandoned his hamlet in impoverished Oaxaca state. No two sculptures were alike and many of the faces were sculpted to reflect the hardship of migrants' lives in both Mexico and the United States. Santiago said the inspiration for the project came in 2001, when he returned home after a three-year stay in Paris and was struck by Teococuilco's empty streets. In 2003, Santiago decided to experience for himself what it was like to cross the U.S. border illegally. He met a smuggler in Tijuana who set him up with fake papers and tried to cross. Santiago was quickly caught by U.S. immigration authorities and returned to Mexico, but he was struck by the thousands of crosses put on the corrugated wall marking the border by activists to represent those who died trying to cross. . He estimated those crosses numbered about 2,500 and settled on that number, plus one, for his project. He said the extra figure symbolized that there is always one more person who is leaving, risking his or her life to try to reach the United States.



Associated News

April 02, 2014
Arte XXI: Homage to Alejandro Santiago

April 02, 2014
Arte XXI hace homenaje a Alejandro Santiago

August 29, 2012
Alejandro Santiago Will Exhibit His Work

August 29, 2012
Alejandro Santiago Artista Plástico Expondrá Su Obra “Abusos De Familias Migrantes De La Frontera

December 13, 2011
Ginger's Blog-Alejandro Santiago's Migrantes

March 29, 2011
Mexico’s Art Takes Center Stage at Arteamericas

May 05, 2009
Alejandro Santiago’s “2501 Migrantes” in Oaxaca

January 01, 2007
RAWvision: 2501 Migrantes: Alejandro Santiago

Associated Exhibitions

Border Crossings / Cruzando Fronteras: Alejandro Santiago & Purvis Young
November 1 - December 31, 2014
October 4 - November 30, 2013


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