Isabella De Santiago
Performance stills with soft sculpture
My entrancing and surrealistic work reflects on my personal experiences to evoke intense emotional responses ranging from blissful to melancholic. Ideas of self-transformation and existentialism are explored through images of the human figure and the metamorphic nature of insects. Additionally, the imagery of bedding, clouds, and concentric lines guide the viewer to meditate upon their own experiences, empathizing with the elicited emotions. I apply these concepts through the variety of mediums I work in, primarily painting, sculpture, and performance. Recently, soft sculpture has been a particular focus of mine, as it is instinctively comforting and inviting and imitates the nature of the body. Utilizing time as a locus, I freeze moments highlighting gradual and perpetual change, and through performance recording and reiterating time, to visually navigate my relationship to the world around me.
Isabella De Santiago was born and raised in Colorado. She began her practice working in 2D; drawing and painting realism and surrealism. When bringing her work into the tangible realm of 3D and 4D, she reconnected with her childhood love for building, performing, and sewing. She is also a part of The New Genres Collective, a performance art group based in RMCAD.
Softy utilizes soft sculpture and the human figure to explore self-growth, acceptance, and fulfillment. By nature, plush objects resemble bodily forms and are often a source of nostalgia and comfort. The human figure in doll form invites one to interact with the object, to care for it, and to give it life. Even when the doll becomes life-sized it calls for an interaction of some kind, typically used for scares or pleasure. Of course, the type of interaction depends on the person. For example, one may act violently to a doll because harming it will have no repercussions. However, I am focusing on my own relationship with my sculpture. My sensitive and imaginative