Santos was born in Curitiba, Brazil in 1985 and graduated from the Universidade Tuiuti do Paraná in 2009. His solo show; Recôndito Plasmado, was held in the Sim Galeria, in Curitiba. Recôndito Plasmado, which can be translated as Recessed Plasma in English, describes this selection of works well. The artworks on show had a metamorphic energy, as if they were caught between a state of forming and becoming. The paintings, sculptures and video installation included in the show explored the theme of time. This could be interpreted literally as the passing of time in decaying organic matter as shown in ‘Reoligia’, a looping video projection. The theme of time was also explored in a broader way. References to geology, cosmology and ancient history in several of the works in the show highlighted the artists process of examination.
Santos uses a variety of techniques to build the surface of his paintings and this handling made each painting feel like its own checkpoint in time and in the show. From energetic brushstrokes to more precise applications of paint, Santos is creating a new visual language in paint. The surface of ‘Dossel Florestal’, 2017 is splattered with thickly applied acrylic paint, tree bark and packaging to depict the density of the tropical rainforest. ‘Propileu’, 2018 is carefully painted with slow, smooth brushstrokes to emphasise the surface of the sculptural motifs and the illusion of a turquoise void.
In these works, Santos experiments with both representational and abstract styles to depict the action of time on various organic forms. We find ourselves in the middle of all this change as another malleable organic form. “My research is like quicksand, it is always in constant transit, from the search for references to the intentions of exchange with the audience.” – Willian Santos, artists statement
Santos lives and works in Curitiba, Brazil.
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Top of page image credit: ‘Dossel Florestal’ 2017 Acrylic, Araucaria Angustifolia bark, packaging, paper and polyurethane on canvas, 230 x 330 cm © Willian Santos