Statement of Research & Practice | Bio
In his work, Joseph Santarpia engages with the concepts of materials’ creative capacity, questions of labor, the body as machine, and the medicalized body. His multimedia studio practice includes, painting, cyanotype, collage, and video. He is most known for his large-scale abstractions of viscera and earthly topography, made with ink on synthetic paper. Born in downstate New York, Santarpia studied art education at SUNY New Paltz and received his MFA from Stony Brook University in 2020. In the last four year, his work has been exhibited internationally in galleries and festivals including: Small Green Door, East Los Angeles, CA; FIG Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain; The Room Projects, Paris, France; The Brooklyn Waterfront Artist Coalition, Brooklyn, NY; and more. He is the recipient of awards including The Goldberger Fellowship and the Dorothy L. Memorial Purchase Prize. Santarpia is also an active, New York State certified art educator, currently working for the Lowville Academy & CSD. He previously taught for Stony Brook University’s Studio Art Program and the Gallery North ArtVentures Program.
At a young age, Santarpia underwent a spinal fusion surgery, the procedure and recovery of which behooved him to seek new ways of using his body for labor, expression, and to subdue pain. Severe medical interventions themselves create tension on the body’s ability to perform labor. In a strained relation to production, other human and bodily potentialities—outside of labor/production—reveal themselves. Santarpia’s work captures a stark contrast of darkness and luminosity, referencing a sense of visceral interiority, expansive space, and machinic processes.