Arte contemporáneo y la biósfera de Oaxaca

Filemón Santiago

(1958 San José Sosola, Oax. México)

He left his birth village to study in Oaxaca at the Rufino Tamayo Visual Arts Workshop. His subject matter and, above all, his technique would have been very different if he had not left Oaxaca in 1978 to move to Chicago.

The years he spent in Chicago enabled him to relate more to European, Latin American and American art. After fifteen years away from Mexico he returned to Oaxaca. The security of experience can be observed in his art.

He has shown his work in Canada, the Netherlands, Japan, and several cities in the United States and Mexico. He was awarded the Logan Art Institute prize in the Chicago and Vicinity Show of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1980. His work is in collections of the Art Institute of Chicago; Museum of Latin-American art in Washington, D.C.; Illinois State Museum in Springfield, Illinois; and the Harold Washington Library in Chicago, Illinois.

Filemón says, “I always dreamed of learning to paint. I was happy then. . . . When I start a painting I consider the canvas is green, like fruit, and it ripens as I paint . . . It is finished when I feel it is mature and free to travel. It is like a child who will have to become self- sufficient and be able to speak for itself.”