José Santos III was born in Manila, Philippines in 1970. He received his BFA from the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts where he also taught for several years. His early paintings have a “dreamlike” quality not for their subject but for their convincing veneer of naturalism, which comes into contradiction with our own real-life order.* Santos’ narrative works reflect a strong cryptic iconography. Whether it’s about telling stories through his figurative paintings and drawings or tracing histories through his still life compositions in collage, painting, assemblage and installation works, their messages are oftentimes elusive and impenetrable opening up possibilities for interpretation.
In his more recent works, Santos continues his explorations of objects not only to uncover their histories but more so to obscure our perception and understanding of these everyday things.
In 2000, he was chosen as one of the Thirteen Artists Awardees by the Cultural Center of the Philippines. His works have been exhibited in Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangladesh, Denmark, Berlin, Paris, New York and London.
He currently lives and works in Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippines.
*Lifted from an article by Riel Jaramillo Hilario for the artist’s monograph, Jose Santos III (vol.2, 2009)
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