Andrea Santos lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She has earned her BFA from Massachusetts College of Art + Design in 2011, and her MFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2016. She has recently exhibited at the NARS Foundation, Brooklyn, Able Baker Contemporary, Portland, and The Granoff Center at Brown University, Providence. Andrea currently manages a cooperative shared art space in Brooklyn, and teaches in the Printmaking department at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn.
My studio practice is informed by ongoing material investigations into the relationships between optics and physicality. I cast plaster sculptures, draw on top of paintings, chop up plaster sculptures, smear cement, rip up canvas, sew up canvas, drip wax and melt foam— until I reach the point in which the image/object contains enough surface manipulation that it develops it’s own language and illusions. Yet, my illusions are an honest attempt. I’m for the clunky, the imperfect, the coloring-outside-the lines. My illusions are attentive to reality, and the material proof is there for the viewer to see. It’s important to me that my objects and images operate ontologically, and that they maintain a type of humanness.
I’m captivated by the moments when our vision kind of stutters and gives us another way of seeing—for example, looking outside through a window and letting our eyes focus on and off the window screen. Either the screen becomes invisible and we can clearly see beyond it, or alternatively, we see the gridded screen and only blurry shapes and colors in the background. By playing in-between material artifice and honesty, I aim to make work that references these experiential moments, and initiates an aptitude for feeling.
In recent work I have been pulling motifs from our digital world and connecting the example of the wavering window screen to our techy device screens. My argument is that these motifs (tetris-like pixel shapes, photoshop grids, a cursor) are part of our contemporary visual language and aid my work in tapping into the viewer’s general sense of awareness and seeing. I’m interested in developing an unfamiliar familiarity that gives you a slow read, gut feelings and peripheral perception.