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Landscapes: Tamara Santibañez

Located at Slow Culture Gallery

FINAL DAYS Exhibition Dates: September 30 - October 22

Slow Culture is proud to present artist Tamara Santibañez's first Los Angeles solo exhibition, “Landscapes.”  As a multimedia artist and well-respected resident amongst many at Saved Tattoo New York.  Tamara embodies more than meets the eye from the canvas of her on clients to the canvas of her paintings.  Known for representations of objects such as handcuffs, whips, chains and leather, she moves to educate her audience in the scope of BDSM culture, that these objects and materials signify more than subversive notoriety or sexual innuendo.  Tamara’s diverse forms of art and authorship in totality have created social mindfulness and aim to defeat ignorance in the eyes of fear and judgement. 

A void, wet, and repulsive. An uninhabited landscape, at once provocative and repelling.  Imagining a body that is not present, but rather a shield whose folds and crevices are protective.  The terrain of leather becomes monumental and immersive. A seductive and lush environment over which to trample and inside which to crawl. As it is dissociated from function, the origin of the object is not apparent, allowing the material to fold and manipulate into a separate anatomy, a monolith for one to worship.

“I primarily paint objects that are my own and have seen years of wear.  A form of self-portraiture, these studies of leather are diaristic - my paintings map my body, wants and desires.  The large-scale pieces focus on unrecognizable parts, separating the material from its intended purpose and forcing it to take on an abstract quality.  I ask viewers to question the whole and ultimately what lies underneath. 

This series of paintings is in many ways my most personal and revealing to date.  The labor and time-intensiveness of creating them was a practice of devotion; a process through which to deepen my understanding of my own relationship to the material.  They represent to me a bare intimacy, stripped down to the flesh, and an attempt to explain a complex emotional relationship that viewers can encounter and engage with themselves.”

Tamara Santibañez (b. 1987) is a multimedia artist living and working in Brooklyn. Her work is rooted in subcultural semiotics, drawing from the worlds of fetish, punk, Chicano art, and tattooing. She probes the weight objects hold as symbols and the ways in which style-based cultural signifiers function as shorthand for a coded communication, and asks the viewer to confront their own assumptions about gendered participants.
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