Monumental Word Paintings
Monumental Word Paintings
The use of words and text in twentieth century art can first be traced back to cubist painters such as Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso who added letters and words, painted and collaged, into still lives.
Playing with language was also central to Dada artists who left an important legacy with their radical, often humorous use of words.
The dadaists as well as the 1960’s pop artists, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Warhol, Ed Ruscha and the monumental large scale works by James Rosenquist are all influential inspirations to Santoré and his use of words in an ambiguous and playful way could be seen as an expression of that influence.
Santoré plays with language in his text pieces, using devices such as onomatopoeia (a word that sounds like its meaning), puns, alliteration (a phrase or series of words where the first or second letter is repeated), and contrasting meanings.
Many of his early works such as FAMOUS (1988) depict single words in a strong typographic format or font. A more brooding atmosphere emerges in the later series, HIGH YIELD JUNK BOND (1989), which illustrates the words overlaid with imagery recalling declining Southern California industrial complexes.
“I’ve made paintings from verbatim with words from lyrics in music or certain sections of books. Of course the words use come from every source. Sometimes they come from a conversation in a podcast and sometimes in one on one conversations, or things see on the street. I’ve had ideas come to me literally in my sleep, on the subway, or while sitting in the lineup surfing. I tend to lean into these ideas and on blind faith feel obliged to use.”
Other works such as FITS & STARTS (2019), FAST FOOD (2021) & PÃPƏL NUNCIO (2022) reference advertising while setting the text against iconic abstraction of cold war and space race era imagery Santoré witnessed as a child of a military family during the Vietnam War. His keen interest in the Apollo Moon missions as a child resonates as well as his introduction to renaissance masterworks retooled and germane to current commercial and social media trends.
“FITS & STARTS” 60 x 216in (152.4 x 548.64cm) Oil, oil stick, military & industrial enamels, aluminum shapes on birch panel with micro-layer clay ground
NYC NYC NYC dropping soon
Preview online and avaliable on Amazon and Monarch Publishing soon.
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