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Sean Horton (Presents) is pleased to announce Semillas de Memoria the New York solo debut by Santiago Galeas. Galeas’s dynamic portraits forefront queer subjects within vibrant, naturalist landscapes, that act as portals into imagined worlds. Rooted in ecology research, identity, and vulnerability Galeas’s practice seeks to create conditions of connectivity that radically reclaim American traditions of portraiture and landscape.
Wayfinder, 2022 visualizes the intersectionality of a queer, Latinx individual named Marisel. Drawing inspiration from her lived experiences as a Puerto Rican immigrant living in Philadelphia, Galeas depicts Marisel as a source of warmth in a cold place, caught in the middle of a wintery dawn in eastern Pennsylvania, not far from where she lives, and a hibiscus shaped portal that radiates the golden tropical landscape of Puerto Rico and hibiscus plants. Marisel treads between these worlds: between countries, between past and present, between hot and cold, between joy and sorrow.
Speaking to the aspect of ecology in his portraits, Galeas says, “research about plants and animals specific to my own ancestral countries of origin, or those of the subjects’, has been a crucial part of my practice. Each natural element that appears in my paintings has some sort of deliberate ecological or cultural association that contributes to the painting’s theme. Often I am reimagining bright, tropical plants in unlikely North American landscapes, using color harmony and compositional elements that create a site of belonging for those plants along with the figure.”
Santiago Galeas (b. 1991, Silver Spring, MD) lives and works in Queens, NY. The artist received a MFA from the New York Academy of Art and a BFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He was a recent artist-in-residence Wolf Hill Arts, the Leipzig International Artist program, and the Nicolas V. Sanchez Scholarship Program.
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