Nicole Santiago

Narrative drives my work. All experience involves both space and time, as does most representation, in one way or another. And for me, at least, reality always comes down to stories. In painting and drawing descriptive, outward realities, I am also describing implied narratives that stretch out beyond the moment shown. My works are often semi-autobiographical domestic scenes with still compositions and stories that are more internal than external. I strive to defy the stillness of the painting, to portray a layered narrative where residues of the past and suggestions of the future swirl around the present, creating a kind of “thick time.”

Second Time Around

To accomplish this, I use the scattered signs of daily existence to reveal indirect insight into the rhythm of everyday life. But that sense of rhythm also depends on the formal structure of the picture itself, where the underlying abstraction must work in tandem with discernable imagery to deliver an engaging image.