Santiago Galeas


 I am a first-generation son of immigrants. My mother is from Peru, my father from El Salvador. I was born in Maryland.

My work mixes traditional figure painting with abstract elements. I paint from the intersection of having undergone atelier training but also having grown up in and been formed by communities that don’t take up significant space in the world of figurative painting. Subject matter is the driving force for me; I now exclusively paint queer people of color. I feel a responsibility to use this medium to elevate and celebrate images of my communities.

Up until the 2016 elections I made subtle work. Just as Americans are radicalizing in either direction, I feel myself and my work following suit. I’ve found that there’s no room for subtlety. I feel emboldened to make my work as loud, as visible, as queer as possible.