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 b. 1995 in Virginia

lives and works in Chicago, IL 



2014 - 2018 Columbia College Chicago 

Selected Solo Exhibitions 

2022 - Belong Gallery, Chicago,IL, "Mega Mania"

2022 - Johalla Projects, The Cube DEMI, Chicago, IL,  "The Escapist Resort" 

2020 - Baby Blue Gallery, Chicago, IL 'The Gum Beneath Your Shoe'

2019 - Studio Racine, Comercio Popular, Don Julio Tequila, Chicago, IL, 'Amorfa'


Selected Group Exhibitions

2022 - New City Magazine & Chicago Artist Coalition, Chicago, IL, Breakout Artists Group Exhibition 

2021- Belong Gallery, Sabor Interno, w/ Marcelo Eli Sarimento 

2021 - Baby Blue Gallery x Rupture Chicago, Strawberry Moon

2021 - Heaven Gallery, Chicago, IL, Mutations w/ Eli Merritt 

2020 - Ortega y Gasset Projects, Brooklyn, NY, Mirror Eye, Yngspc x Far by Wide 

2019 - Baby Blue Gallery, Chicago, IL, Works on Paper Group Show

2019 - Chuquimarca Projects, Chicago, IL, Nada y Todo (w/ Marcelo Eli & Saul Palos)

2019 - Heaven Gallery, AMFM Booth, Chicago, IL, Alternative Space 

2019 - Workshop 4200, Epoch Entertainment, Chicago, IL,  Saturate 

2018 - Mana Contemporary, Chicago, IL, AMFM Booth, The Other Art Fair 

2017 - Sidewinder Gallery, Chicago, IL, Exochrome (with Rory Scott & Eli Merritt)

2017 - Line Dot Editions, Chicago, IL, Juried Show 

2017 - Reunion Chicago, Chicago, IL, People's Collective 

2016 - Vertical Gallery, Chicago, IL, Holiday Pop-Up Show 

2016 - Nych Gallery, Chicago, IL, People's Collective 

2015 - Lacuna Lofts, Chicago, IL, Degenerates Summer Collection 

Special Projects 

2019 - June Artist Resident  @Wndr Museum

2018- Silent Auction. Lake Shore Dive & The Lyte Collective

2018 - Shop Pop Box Commission for Store Opening 

2018 - Social Media Content for Mode PR

2018 - Commissioned mural for Blood Orange Short Film

2016 - Mural for Chicago Sleepers art event 


New City Magazine Breakout Artists of 2022, Written by Ciera McKissick 

Sixty Inches From the Center, "Roland Santana: The Gum Beneath Your Shoe"

Written by Lauren Iacoponi, September 15, 2020


Chicago Reader, "Our Favorite Things for Fall Arts", 2020

South Side Weekly Arts Issue 2019 Print Gallery

Cadera Magazine Issue 003, November 28, 2018 

Knack Magazine No. 48, 2017

Chicago Creatives Interview, by Nico Rud   




Born May 11, 1995 in Virginia. His parents who immigrated from Guatemala and Bolivia exposed Santana to painting in a non-creative way while working in his father’s construction company in his early teen years. During the recession of 2008, him 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 was an emotional process for Santana but also gave him an awakening of value for material and life. Painting five houses a day, Santana began to realize the marks and stains, capturing movements of families who would lived in the home prior to cleaning. Working with his father he learned the importance of aesthetics and functionality, he decided to pursue a more artistic practice and came to study at Columbia College Chicago in 2014. 


Moving to Chicago surrounded him with creatives from all different realms: musicians, filmmakers, photographers, street artists, all influences to his style today. The community Santana found himself in allowed for him to gain knowledge of different methods of painting, and support in the local industry. Through Santana’s paintings, drawings, and mixed media artworks, we are taken on deconstructed journeys. American landscapes, personal life events and celestial imagery are composed through Santana’s collisions of marks and mediums. The openness of his artworks gives the viewer a chance to see the paintings as a much bigger part of the surrounding space, colors are transforming, transmuting, unlocking the passage of reality to a dream world. The minimal contents of his work makes us question if what Santana makes are paintings at all, it is puzzling and weird. There is an intriguing dark side but also formal precision. Roland Santana is a rainbow ranging from electric lime green to melancholic shades of purple and pink. He is luminous and dark. Today Roland Santana has gained the likes of several galleries and collectors and has participated in showcases in spaces such as Mana Contemporary, Chicago Art Department, Baby Blue Gallery, NADA, Heaven Gallery, Chuquimarca Projects and more. 

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