Initially a self-taught artist in his native Ecuador, Oscar Santillán went on to earn an MFA from the VCU Sculpture Department (US) and since then he has been an artist-in-residence at the Astronomy Observatory of Leiden University (NL), Delfina Foundation (UK), Van Eyck (NL), Skowhegan (US), Fondazione Ratti (IT), Davidoff Art Initiative (DO), and Seven Below (US). Santillán is currently based in The Hague, Brussels, and Quito.
The work of Santillán quietly unveils uncharted aspects of reality and history. His practice seeks to transgrede the building of Western reality, which is based on binary contraries—good/bad, black/white, man/woman, truth/lies. These categories dissolve in his work, opening up a larger sense of what is possible. He offers us physical evidence of a territory beyond reality, where a phantom limb is captured, the weight of light over planet Earth is measured, and the dance of a dead philosopher is brought back to life.
Santillán has held solo exhibitions at Witte de With (NL), MUAC (MX), Fundación ODEON (CO), Spazio Calderara (IT), among others. Group shows include LACMA (US), Irish Museum of Modern Art (IE), Kröller-Müller Museum (NL), FRAC île-de-france (FR), IV Trienal Poli/gráfica (PR), STUK (BE), SECCA (US), Voorlinden Museum (NL), XIII Bienal de Cuenca (EC), Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain (FR), Museo de Arte ‘Carrillo Gil’ (MX), Nest (NL), Sala Miró Quesada (PE), Bonnefanten Museum (NL), Bienal de Arte Paíz (GT), Marres (NL), among other venues.
Santillán's work has been the subject of articles, reviews, and interviews published in Frieze magazine, Art Pulse, Elephant, Art Nexus, Art Monthly, Exibart, Metropolis M, to name but a few.