At first glance, it's hard to separate Antonio Santin‘s art from reality. The New York-based Spanish painter magically renders three-dimensional depictions of ornate carpets that have been creased, crumpled, and otherwise bunched up into thick folds. Although they are made with just oil paint and a brush, their carefully modeled appearance makes it seem like they are more than just a flat surface, as hyperrealistic imitations of actual objects appear to be hidden underneath them.
Amazingly, Santin spares no detail in his ongoing series of rug paintings. Each of these large-scale pieces features a textile that is decorated with an intricate pattern ranging from florals to stripes to opulent abstract designs. And after determining the design of the print, Santin showcases his masterful skills by manipulating the repeating pattern to follow the shapes of the creases in the rugs. Whether that means curving the lines to match the perspective of the bulge, or darkening the colors inside a shady crevice.
Sometimes, it may seem as though Santin's hyperrealistic rugs are covering a figure or object. He conveys this mysterious presence by outlining a large solid object in the drapery of the thick textile, even if he leaves the identity of the obscured item a mystery. In most pieces, however, the rug has simply been scrunched into hefty plies that emphasize the weight and texture of the carpet itself. Regardless of what may or may not be underneath, the mastery of Santin's painting skills is clear as day, and requires a long, close look at the artworks to fully appreciate.
Santin has an exhibition titled Lullaby coming up at Galerie ISA in Mumbai. The show will run from January 12 to February 28, 2023. In the meantime, you can see more of the artist's amazing work on his website and Instagram.
New York-based artist Antonio Santin creates hyperrealistic paintings of ornate rugs.
Each piece resembles a carpet that has been folded, bunched, or scrunched.
As a result, these oil-rendered works look three-dimensional.