Santiago Talavera studied Fine Arts at Madrid Complutense University, including a one-year scholarship at Camberwell College of Arts in London. His work has been awarded the best exhibition at the recent 2021 Valencia Open, first prize of the 12 Mostra Internacional de arte Gas Natural Fenosa, the XVII UNED Fine Arts Prize, among other awards.
He has held individual exhibitions in museums such as CEART - Centro de Arte Tomás y Valiente and in galleries in Madrid, Valencia and Gijón. His work has been exhibited individually and collectively in various institutions, including La Casa Encendida, Centro Centro and Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid, Chicago’s Instituto Cervantes, Berlin Freires Museum, as well as various contemporary art fairs in Spain, Argentina, US, UK and Southafrica.
The central axis of Santiago Talavera’s work is the reflection on the human condition through the investigation of landscape and its symbolic, narrative and spatial possibilities.
He began to explore natural catastrophe as metaphor through the installation and series Llegar a ser Oceáno in 2006, which featured derelict homes and tsunamis. Colour plays an important role and pink, from cerise to bubblegum pastel, has become a hallmark of his work. The absence of the human being in his works, in combination with an intimate and absurd atmosphere in which past and future seem to intermingle, accentuate the need to think about the place we occupy, rather than as mere observers.
“ In my works there is an abundance of semi-abandoned constructions that appear contained by theatre stands. As if we were the last spectators of some function to which we either arrived early or late, in these works the surrounding natural space appears to take the central role. The apparent “lack of event” allows me to develop scenes where the dispute is situated inside and outside, as if centre stage comprised the stage, the backstage and the surrounding building.
The landscape allows me to displace the main role of the human in order to propose places where, although we are “out of shot”, we are no longer the only actors. The series of works The past will have been a strange planet shows small canvases painted with acrylic and graphite where storage rooms, obsolete machinery and improvised tests on architectural remains coexist with our waste, vegetation and non-human animals."