Interview: Jose Santos, Mexican British fine artist
Couvre x Chefs is a place of gathering where we like to share and enjoy culture, and peoples passion for culture. Culture can take many forms, may it be through music, food, cinema and more. In this case it’s through art. I recently had the chance and pleasure of meeting José Santos, someone who straight away came off to me as being passionate about his art and the way he talked about it. He was exhibiting his work with Lucio Santiago in Cantina Mezcal, the most authentic Mexican restaurant I had ever been to in London. With some cumbia music playing in the background, José started telling us more about his work and the way he expresses it. His intriguing work combined with his passion for it seemed like an obvious choice to want to share with you.
Couvre x Chefs: Hi Jose! Thanks for accepting to answer these few questions, first of all, could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
José Santos: Hi Ryan, I was born in Oaxaca a southern state of Mexico where at the age of 10 I took my first painting class, and about 30 years later I finished my fine art degree in England. Today I specialize in printing, painting and ceramics.
CxC: At what point in your life did you decide to seriously pursue your interest for art, and how did that affect your life at the time?
JS: Even though I started to study art full time for my university degree in 2009, I have been through different art courses, workshops and seminars for 20 years. So when I made the decision of making my career and living as an artist I was more than sure and convinced that was my vocation and passion in life.
My life as a result of following this path as had its ups and downs, economically speaking can be a disastrous way of living as you can struggle for very long periods of time but its the most emotionally rewarding experience to get to know you’re in the right time and place in this life.
CxC: I’ve seen that you have studied to be a priest, did that have an impact on the way you perceive art and your work today?
JS: That I don’t know to what extend exactly my religious education at that time has influenced my work today but perhaps it has been part of my ethos as an artist as I try to be me and very honest and most important as a person,…after all we are just people with different circumstances, desires, egos and goals.
CxC: What other artists do you look up to, inspire yourself from, and why?
JS: Goya, Picasso, Beuys to mention a few. Native art and history also play a huge part of my work. My work is based on research and as a result build a theory that communicates and challenges and brings a new proposal to the art world today, otherwise its pointless!! Im tired of seeing the same crap over and over. Boring!
CxC: For someone who is completely new to this art form, how would you describe it? Is it something structured, chaotic, emotional?
JS: I describe my work as a series of marks that intend to provoke in the viewer not one, but multiple feelings and reactions to a point that they get engaged with a positive or negative self questioning…up to them.
CxC: What are your future projects/plans? Where can we see your next work?
JS: I recently have been very lucky and new projects have fallen into place, social and private ones. I have been approach by all kinds of businesses and individuals and I’m learning so much, happy for any new challenge. For more recent work and news there is all the social media links on my website: http://jsantos.co.uk.