This painting depicts a figure with a tattoo of the Archangel Michael, rendered in a traditional Puerto Rican style. This is a common tattoo around the island, which refers to guidance and protection. This work explores spiritual and religious symbols shared throughout the different religions practiced in the Caribbean, while simultaneously referencing the procession that happened in Vieques.
The artist's work explores his connection to his home country of Puerto Rico, creating scenes that immerse viewers into the island’s landscape and history—including important but overlooked episodes. Because much of this history is poorly documented, Armig Santos gathers source material from unorthodox internet repositories, such as: outdated blogs; amateur history pages; low-budget documentaries uploaded to YouTube; and photojournalist archives. The artist's illumination of these obscured histories is a subversive act against the narratives imposed by past empires, as well as contemporary political and education systems.
Like other Puerto Rican artists, Santos struggles to discover and learn the untaught past of his own people. The artist's work urgently addresses both the Puerto Rico of today and other parts of the world where people seek freedom from colonial oppression and ecological justice and autonomy, as well as fundamental human rights.
Armig Santos’ work immerses viewers into the landscape of Puerto Rico as well as overlooked but important episodes from its history. Because much of Puerto Rico’s past is poorly documented, the artist gathers source material from unorthodox internet repositories, such as: outdated blogs; amateur history pages; low-budget documentaries uploaded to YouTube; and photojournalist archives. Santos’ exploration of these obscured histories is an act of subversion against the narratives imposed on the island by both past empires and the contemporary political and education systems.
Armig Santos was born in Caguas, Puerto Rico in 1995. The artist received a BFA in Painting from the Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Diseño de Puerto Rico in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 2018.
A solo exhibition of Santos’ work, Yellow Flowers, took place at Calderón Gallery in New York City in 2022.
Other exhibitions of Santos’ work include: TAMO AQUÍ / WE HERE at Embajada in San Juan, Puerto Rico (2022); NÜ MOON at New Image Art in Los Angeles, California (2022); Cosmic Connections at Calderón Gallery in New York City (2022); Nunca es Suficiente at KM 0.2 in Santurce, Puerto Rico (2021); Oh no! The rubber exploded and I don’t have any cat to fix it at Roberto Paradise in Santurce, Puerto Rico (2017); Farándula at Roberto Paradise in Santurce, Puerto Rico (2017).
Santos co-curated Papo Colo’s Procesión-Migración in Puerto Rico with the support of MoMA PS1 in 2017.
Santos lives and works in San Juan, Puerto Rico.