Antonio Santin’s paintings of carpets seem to hide something dark, cover something up – only revealing a silhouette. He himself understands his hyperaesthetic paintings as still life's. Since he enjoys adjusting the fabric’s proportions the paintings are very large, measuring up to more than three meters. By reconstructing and reinventing the essence of certain textures and weaves of the textiles, he creates an effect that easily raises ones hackles. He states: ‘In animation characterizes the painting but it is the beholder who gives or takes breath away.’
The paintings are based on photographs he takes himself and manages, despite the fact that hyper realism seems to be incredibly popular these days, to create something new.She says,"I don’t really have the deepest knowledge of carpets, but it’s more like intuition. At one point, I saw some ripples in a carpet, and began to be interested in them. I thought there were too many figurative paintings in my production, and I was wondering if I got rid of the figure if I could still make something figurative without an obvious reference. Every carpet is a new world, a different approach. The form itself is very sculptural, and to find the perfect volume for the carpet is endless."
After graduating from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Antonio came to Berlin and started painting portraits of men. Later he started one of his most haunting series, which displays young women laying on patterned carpets. While Antonio’s earlier works contain large sections of realism, his recent paintings are far more abstract. The most striking aspect of these paintings is their lack of distance and the uneasy feeling evoked in viewers as they confront the painting.
Antonio: "I moved to Berlin in 2004, for 8 years, and started my painting career there. In Madrid, where I’m from, I was doing the sculpture. In fact, I have a public sculpture there that’s famous for being vandalized. I spent one year in Athens to focus on the sculpture. That city is chaos. But I had a beautiful connected with the materials, like clay—they’re so strict over there. I’ve only been here for less than a year, and I like it. Berlin was so cold that I escaped its winters by coming to New York"
All images © Antonio Santin