b. 1995 in Virginia
lives and works in Chicago, IL
2014 - 2018 Columbia College Chicago
Selected Solo Exhibitions
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
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
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
Written by Lauren Iacoponi, September 15, 2020
Chicago Reader, "Our Favorite Things for Fall Arts", 2020
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.