Latino Artist Combines Urban Pop and Latino Culture into Visually Stunning Art

This blog was something I needed to post because this is an artist that everyone should check out whether your Latino or non-Latino. I happened to find New York based artist, Santiago, on Facebook through a fellow colleague of Latino cultural studies and also an online mentor, George “Urban Jibaro” Torres. George also has his own blog called Sofrito for Your Soul, a great blog that promotes Latino cultural heritage.

Santiago and a fan at the Culture Clash Opening Reception

Santiago and fan at Culture Clash Opening

After seeing some of Santiago’s artworks on his Facebook Fanpage, I went ahead and studied his personal website, RiceandBeanz.net and what I saw visually blew me away. As an Art major at the University of North Texas, I was in classes that focused on European art studies, which is good but I wanted to study more art within Latin American culture. Fortunately, they offered a Spanish Colonial Art class before I graduated which really encouraged me to research Latin American art on my own.

What I like about Santiago’s work is that he breaks from tradition and created his own art expression. It’s a fusion of two cultures, urban pop and Latino with a touch of retro and futuristic elements. Santiago successfully combines the two into a celebration of modern Latino culture and heritage here in the US and the Caribbean islands of Cuba, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic.

“I am simply an image maker that illustrates, paints sculpts, web design and does graphic art.” Santiago told me when I asked him what his art concentration was and so I’m very impressed that he can express his art in other mediums.

The deep rich and diverse color of his artworks will definitely capture the eye’s attention and the abstract shapes in some of his pieces provides a sense of dynamic movement to the figures, which themselves express some sense of emotion and/or sensuality. When I see Santiago’s artworks, I see art that communicates Latino identity, nostalgia and passion.

Another great thing about Santiago is that he is able utilize the power of online and social media to promote his art on his own. As mentioned before, not only does Santiago has a website where he displays and sells his art but he also uses the popular microblogger, Tumblr, for another gallery which he also calls RICEANDBEANZ. On top of that he has over 8,000 Facebook fans and is on Twitter with over 3,000 followers and yes! he’s also on MySpace.

I encourage you to check out his art and I also encourage Santiago to keep up the great work. His imagination and creativity are really limitless.

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written by

I 'mFrankie De Sotoand I was born on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. I graduated at the top of my class from the University of North Texas with a BA in Art and 2 minors in Marketing and Radio, Television, and Film. I have been doing graphic design for the past couple of years creating graphics for advertising, signs, brochures , and flyers but I decided to return to school to expand my knowledge into more new media applications such as web design, human /computer interaction, Flash animation and marketing communications. I graduated with an MFA in Arts & Technology at the University of Texas at Dallas. My current studies are focusing on social media and marketing communications which in part encouraged me to begin this blog as well as my love for Hispanic culture and online media practices.

2 Responses to "Latino Artist Combines Urban Pop and Latino Culture into Visually Stunning Art"

  1. Urban Jibaro says:

    Santiago is an amazing artist with a very distinct visual flavor. The retro aspect fused with the futuristic themes blend flawlessly in his pieces. I look forward to owning an original Santiago one day….

    Thanks for the mention Frank… se te quiere de gratis compi!

  2. Frankie De Soto says:

    Thanks George! I agree that Santiago has a unique style and the use of colors and shapes are very dynamic. I also love how he uses online media to help promote his work.

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