art curatorial collective

Roland Santana
The Escapist Resort

The Cube, DEMI - Johalla Projects & Roland Santana

The Cube, Demi  is proud to announce our inaugural exhibition, in collaboration with Print & Object, The Escapist Resort by artist Roland Santana. Roland Santana’s artist practice exists in a self-created realm dense with contradictions, conflations, and contemplations. In this space, seemingly disparate contexts, such as futurism/nostalgia, stability/instability, and function/aesthetic blend and blur on the same plain. 

Demi  is also a site of contradictions, a project space that is small in scale yet mighty in mission. It is home to a collaboration between Print and Object and Johalla Projects where an exhibition space and an editions program meet. With this in mind, Santana is the ideal inaugural artist to christen The Cube.

Santana’s most recent collection is deeply inspired by his childhood and experience with the American construction industry.  His parents immigrated from Guatemala and Bolivia to Virginia, and in his early teen years he learned the craft of painting while working in his father’s construction company. During the recession of 2008, Santana and his father would remove objects and furniture from foreclosed homes, then clean and paint the walls white, leaving no trace of its inhabitants. This emotional process of whiting out lived experiences inspired Santana to consider the value of material and life: the stains and marks on each home captured the movement and memories of families who had lived in these spaces.

His chosen medium--poly foam, often used on job sites-- is a bridge between his utilitarian past and artistic present. His self-described “weird, squishy forms” are encapsulated in glossy painted tones that layer futuristic-inspired fluorescent pinks and playful lemon drop yellows across the functional matter.

Precariously placed, Santana invites the viewer to look for his work in the least expected locations. Preferring refrigerator doors or inconspicuous corners to the central wall of a gallery, each piece reimagines its surrounding space and creates a kind of radiating aura, prompting viewers to take notice of other aesthetic experiences in their everyday lives.

In this current exhibition, shed what may be presumed when viewing art and walk into the synergy of the past and future, the friction of labor and delight, and the willingness to look for the unexpected.

The Escapist Resort is in partnership with Johalla Projects and Print & Object

Santana’s notable colorful works are a continuation of his experimental processes with material. Crossing bridges between sculpture and painting, Santana’s works are other-wordly. Large chunks of paint emerge from the raw canvas, playfully inviting you in as they enter into the 3D world. Roland Santana is not shy to tingle your senses with his vibrancy.