The Daily Rambling Artist: Naughty or Nice? - Let the Audience Decide!

The Daily Rambling Artist: Naughty or Nice? - Let the Audience Decide!

The studio is my sanctuary, a place that takes me on a journey through different artistic phases. For a while, my mind was very contemplative of Matisse's figurative nudes, where minimal line work held the weight of the entire piece. I recall reading somewhere that Matisse himself believed that the best parts of a painting were found within those initial lines. Intrigued by this concept, I decided to explore it.

A good chunk of time went by where I focused solely on painting figurative female nudes. It wasn't about creating anything explicit or provocative; rather, I aimed to channel that Matisse-like energy into my work. However, it was rather peculiar how people reacted when they saw me in person. Their faces wore a peculiar grin, and some would even comment, "You're really into this, huh?" or something along those lines. I felt as if I were surrounded by 12-year-olds.

I found these reactions rather perplexing because I am someone who frequently goes through artistic phases, as I mentioned before. It could be black and white faces one day, muppets the next, stormtroopers, or even a particular baseball team. Yet, none of these themes garnered the same response as my current figurative body of work did.

I started to find humor in this odd response so I started my next body of work in the same Matisse-inspired style, this time depicting modestly dressed women, sometimes even in conservative attire (think Quakers). However, the reaction to this new series was met with silence. I found immense satisfaction and humor in the journey of creating this new body of work and the new lack of response. I kept the series going for a good chunk of time, laughing to myself the whole time. 

As much as the studio is a solitary place, it's still a place of dialogue. I welcome and value moments like these, as they all become part of the circus that surrounds the creation of art. I strive to make my work as carnival-like as possible—it's what brings me joy and more importantly keeps me amused. In the studio, I find solace, but I also embrace and encourage the interactions and influences that shape my artistic journey.

-Sergio Santos