Artist Profile
Boris Santamaria
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Artist
Biography
Afew details are missing in Boris' biography. The exact year of his birth is unknown. We do know that his family was historically linked to the Cuban Revolution. We also know that he bears the name of one of the protagonists of the Revolution.
Boris Luis Santa Coloma, killed by Batista's police: he was the partner of his aunt, Haydée Santamaria, during the clandestine struggles. Haydée was also an important female figure in the Revolution, the founder and director of Casa de las Américas in Havana. We are informed that in his early teens, Boris left his parents' house - who devoted much of their time to their revolutionary commitments- and began a life of excesses and political dissent. His total rejection of his family grew to such an extent that, at some point they allegedly decided to name a new baby with his very name, Boris.
Boris became a vagrant living on the fringe of society: poor, destitute, drug user and reportedly sick with HIV. In 2008 he met a group of artists and started drawing. He normally prepares the paper for his work by drawing a grid of long horizontal lines joined by numerous small vertical lines in blue ink. His imaginary is populated by cartoon-like characters, cropped faces and portraits of great historical figures like Che Guevara, Fidel Castro or his disciple, José Ignacio Rasco. Beyond the somewhat naive appearance, the content of his work can be tremendously corrosive and harsh and it cannot be separated from the Cuban socio- political situation and his own personal involvement. Two disturbing elements appear repeatedly in many of his designs: blood, as a vampiric and autobiographical component , and the representation of eyes staring at us, even bleeding, as a symbol, perhaps, of all the terrible things the artist's eyes have seen.

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