A selection of recent paintings by Queens, NY-based artist Santiago Galeas. Primarily focused on making portraits of queer people in his community, Galeas describes the intimacy between him and his subjects: “So much of the content of the work relies on how much the subject is willing to give me in our conversations and when they pose for me. And then, as I start painting these, the portraits become an expression of myself too—how much of myself am I able to find in their story, and how do I visualize it?”
Galeas’ practice involves research about plants and animals specific to his own ancestral countries of origin, or those of his subjects. Each natural element that appears in his paintings has a deliberate ecological or cultural association that contributes to the painting’s theme. He elaborates: “Often I am reimagining bright, tropical plants in unlikely North American landscapes, using color harmony and compositional elements that create a site of belonging for those plants along with the figure.”
See more from Santiago Galeas below!