Santiago Carbonell: “Often when I see my image reflected in the mirror, I do not recognize myself, I imagine that I have emerged from a mysterious twist, as from a strange affair. I will always be the son of my grandfather shoemaker and of a box of watercolors.”
Realist and visionary painter Santiago Carbonell was born in 1960 in Quito, Ecuador with Spanish nationality. He emigrated to Mexico in 1986 where he married María Gabriela. He is the father of four Mexican children and currently resides in the city of Querétaro, Mexico.
Carbonell began to paint at the age of 6 and during his youth he lived in Ecuador, Spain, the united states and Italy, to later arrive in Mexico. His iron discipline, tenacious study and refined self-taught talent, has led him to travel the world, surprising the viewer with a personal perception of painting. He is a prominent representative of the hyper-realistic current, although – according to himself – his aesthetics is not based on reproducing what reality or photography represent, but on inventing from them. Some of the awards he has obtained are: 1982, from the Catalan American institute of cooperation and in 1980 the Reina Sofía scholarship for fine arts.
Santiago Carbonell’s Paintings
Carbonell studied painting in Barcelona and was part of a group of young painters influenced by Informalism. Tàpies was an influential figure for him.
Tachism and working with different materials, accidents, chance, and texture are all highly influential in his works. Carbonell likes to experiment and is influenced by the avant-garde. His own work is realistic in nature and combines elements of romanticism and minimalism.
Carbonell feels that being an artist is not inherited and that the environment that one grows up in is more important than one’s genes. His father loved art and took him to museums when he was a young boy. As a child, he learned from his parents a passion for music and literature.
He claims that the love that parents had for the arts and imparted to him was much more important than any inherited gene. His paintings cover a broad spectrum of subjects. He prefers to use dancers as his models because they know how to move and are comfortable with their bodies. He captures this sensuality in his paintings.
In his paintings, we recognize ourselves, our frailties, and our dreams. He is paints slowly and his paintings sell well. He currently lives in Mexico with his wife and children and teaches art in Querétaro, Mexico in the university.