Curtis Talwst Santiago

  • Curtis Talwst Santiago, Ooo Dey Ooo Dey, 2019. Courtesy of the artist and Rachel Uffner Gallery, New York.
  • Curtis Talwst Santiago The Day of Carnival, 2018. Private Collection.
  • Curtis Talwst Santiago, Jouvet Ancestral Recollection, 2018. Weissman Family Collection.

Cheryl Sim on the work of Curtis Talwst Santiago



Born and raised in Alberta, Curtis Talwst Santiago is a multi-disciplinary artist who engages deeply with intuition and imaginative memory to commune with and gain knowledge of his ancestors. The works on view reference a powerful memory of his first visit to Trinidad, his parent’s country of origin. He visited during Carnival and was struck by the image of his family members applying bright red mud to their faces as part of the celebration, as they danced to calypso in the glowing light of day. As Mojeanne Behzadi so beautifully writes in the catalogue essay, “His highly energetic pictorial fields foreground joy as a radical response to the struggles that unite many people who continue to experience the colonial legacy of oppression.”

About Curtis Talwst Santiago

Curtis Talwst Santiago (b. 1979, Edmonton) studied as an apprentice of Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun. Santiago has exhibited internationally at venues such as The FLAG Art Foundation, New York; The New Museum, New York; The Eli and Edythe Broad Museum at Michigan State University, East Lansing; the Institute of Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond; the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon; The Pérez Art Museum Miami; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; and the SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah; among others. The artist was included in the inaugural 2019 Toronto Biennial of Art, the SITE Santa Fe SITELines.2018 Biennial, Casa Tomada, in Santa Fe, and was featured in the 2018 Biennale de Dakar. The artist’s solo exhibition Can’t I Alter, opened in February 2020 at The Drawing Center, New York. His work is in the permanent collection of the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. Santiago considers himself decentralized and lives and works between New York, Lisbon, and Toronto.

Interview with Curtis Talwst Santiago - PHI Foundation


Video Resources:

Panel Discussion with RELATIONS Artists 1/4 – PHI Foundation

Can't I Alter - The Drawing Center, New York - March 2020