Santiago Morilla expands on drawing through site-specific projects, understanding aesthetic action as personal and performance decisions prompting the questioning and analysis of the environment. After respectful immersion in the location where the intervention is to take place, Morilla “hacks” the landscape and the representation of the space, at times almost imperceptibly; simply a drawing that is formed for a few instants when timelines collide, sometimes visible only from high above, sometimes permanently reordering the meaning of a landscape’s elements, people or animals and, on occasion, including specific materials that expand local narratives. Artistically, his work inhabits space in order to highlight its limits and the way in which man draws his decisions while tending to dehumanise himself and disappear on the path of fate, pathos and repetition. He combines his huge, public, multi-layered (video, specific drawing, mural painting, aerial photography) interventions, incorporating “graphic bombs” into the process through “warnings to navigators” that question the political function of digital mapmaking and invite us to reflect on environmental “pollution” and relational isolation.
For Santiago Morilla, if artistic investigation does not involve personal action outside the studio and his “comfort zone”, it does not make sense. His work has evolved from urban art and illustration to a living immersion in specific projects with keywords open to narratives of deceleration, where tradition and technology find a place of aesthetic resistance.
Noemí about my site-specific projects:
Santiago Morilla`s artworks and actions transform both the setting and the experience. And this can be experienced by those who dare to go through the transformed place but also by distant observers. Now that zenithal vision is no longer the exclusive right of God, Morilla’s figures, distant relatives of Nazca geoglyphs, correspond to a type of anamorphosis that can only be contemplated as proportioned thanks to the images caught by satellites. Their profile reveals creatures that combine human and animal, they are hybrids that make us doubt whether they are the result of disguise or of the whims of nature. They are misfits, doomed to disappear, to bite the dust, to merge with it. If the limits of landscape are opened to extend its boundaries, its contour will also be drawn.
(Noemí de Haro García)
Art Critic and Curator, Madrid.
Nancy about my walls:
Morilla’s Ghosts are the ghosts of the present. They are the ghosts that beset us in the future, but equally, we were not able to override them. Animal horns, tree trunks and pieces of human bodies, a jumble of pieces that form the hybrid mutant body.
Morilla has distinguished himself as a restless artist, who investigates through his work giving drawing a new boost . He occupies the sense of imagination through dreams and surreal figures. Its elements remain the same: human beings or animals combined with elements of nature. Birds and human figures, a sort of symbolic allegory, we speak of freedom.
The walls are the natural support of his art, Morilla paints on walls and roofs, in open public spaces, it is his way of breaking the conservatism of drawing as an aesthetic and artistic practice. Use the Street to get what is stored in museums. It is, in short, a cryptic way of removing the street that is hidden from society. A viewer appreciates the artistic endeavour.
Contemporary Art Historian and Critic, New York.