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These three miniature pieces by Curtis Santiago are “diora- mas”, in other words, scenes represented in a three dimensional space.

Dioramas were very popular in France in the 19th century.

Their use was widespread, often for pedagogical purposes, in natural history museums for example, but they can also be used for artistic purposes.

Curtis Santiago’s dioramas present miniature scenes in which he evokes contemporary problems encountered in his daily life: racism, police violence, migration and his Carib- bean origins.

But these miniature dioramas, encased in their precious little boxes, are also portable works of art. When closed, they fit into a pocket and can go anywhere with their owner.

This can be a way of keeping on oneself something special and beloved. Portable miniature art isn’t something new – Marcel Duchamp’s Box in a Suitcase comes to mind – but today it seems more relevant than ever, “the best means for a vagabond or an exile to possess things”, in a world where nomadism can also become a way of life.

 

 

Curtis Santiago

Born in 1979 in Toronto. He lives and works in Brooklyn, USA.

Curtis Santiago is a former apprentice of Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun.

Santiago has exhibited internationally in solo and group shows including at the Studio Museum, Harlem; Rachel Uffner, Hunter College, New York; Perez Art Museum, Miami; Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, USA; the Art Gallery of Ontario, Cooper Cole, Toronto; the Art Gallery of Mississauga, Mississauga, Canada.

Following his artist-in-residency at Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, USA, he participated in a residency with Gallery MOMO, Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa, Africa.

In 2018, the artist was included in the SITE Santa Fe SITELines.2018 Biennial in Santa Fe and in the Biennale de Dakar in Dakar, Senegal. He is currently featured in the Toronto Biennial of Art, Toronto, Canada.

His work is included in the permanent collection of the Studio Museum in Harlem, USA. Santiago lives and works in Lisbon, Portugal.

 

 

Courtesy: the artist and Galerie Analix Forever.

Courtesy: the artist and Galerie Analix Forever.

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