Trials (La Crema)
This painting depicts a scene from the infamous Cerro Maravilla Trials in the 1980s. This composition shows the lawyer Héctor Rivera Cruz pointing at a model of the actual location in which the assassinations occurred. The events of Cerro Maravilla changed the way Puerto Ricans look at politics and life. This work explores sociopolitical issues that the island shares globally with other cultures and communities, simultaneously creating a dialogue with art history through the depiction of historical events and the human condition.
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this history is poorly documented, Armig Santos gathers source material from unorthodox internet repositories, such as: outdated blogs; amateur history pages; low-budget documentaries uploaded to YouTube; and photojournalist archives.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Rico’s past is poorly documented, the artist gathers source material from unorthodox internet repositories, such as: outdated blogs; amateur history pages; low-budget documentaries uploaded to YouTube; and photojournalist archives.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.