Claudia Santillan is an artist and immigrant, currently living in Miami, who creates work that explores identity, self-image, media, personal and social concerns within the Latino community.
Moving to the United States from Peru at an early age inspires her need to understand and come to terms with self-identity and finding a hybrid place. Issues of identity for young Latinos living in the United States are addressed in her work through portraiture. In which the larger than life paintings blur the boundaries between photorealism and the fantastics, evoking a sensibility to a media influenced photoshop-esque modern style portrait.
Santillan's portraits are constructed with the subjects's own perception of their self-image/identity with beautiful and iconic qualities, giving power of representation to the individual. Thus Santillan's images of the young Latinos reject centuries of Western objectification of people of color by challenging the tradition of portraiture painting, and articulates the Latino experience in the United States. The restructure of the importance of whom, why, and how a portrait is produced challenges the viewer to complex issues that some would prefer remain silent.
Santillan holds a BFA in Painting from the University of Georgia and a MFA in Painting from the University of Memphis.