Body Language: Figures in Clay

February 4 - March 9, 2013

Juan Miguel Santiago

Juan Miguel Santiago is an artist based in Oakland, California. Santiago’s ceramic figures, like religious idols rescued from the “House of Wax” just as the flames began to rise, combine religious and cultural associations to an effect that is eerie, seductive and personal.

The resemblance of religious statuary traffics in associations of worship, reverence and ritual, which Santiago handles with an individual stance.  His idols appear to be in a suspended state of melting, or covered in ghostly layers of whitewash. Any type of idol is covered with layers of references, associations, histories and superstitions. Such narratives adorn and comprise religions and art worlds. 

                                                     -Keith Vaughn of “Bees and Trees”


All the Angels and Saints
, 2011, Porcelain and Steel

In his recent work, Santiago’s studio art practice hovers between benevolence and satire within the context of collected kitsch and of coveted precious objects- blurring their boundaries.

Since receiving his Masters degree from The New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, Santiago’s work has been collected nationally and internationally, from private collectors to Museums.  He has held teaching appointments from community colleges to private institutions within the bay area and abroad.  He has also represented the Philippines in a survey of South East Asian Contemporary Ceramic Art in China.  He continues his studio practice at the DOME Studios in Oakland California.