Statement of Research & Practice | Bio

Joseph Santarpia engages with materials’ creative capacity to question labor, the medicalized body, and to consider the body as machine. His multimedia studio practice includes, painting, cyanotype, installation, video, and collage. Born in downstate New York, Santarpia studied art education at SUNY New Paltz and received his MFA from Stony Brook University in 2020. 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.


At a young age, Santarpia underwent a spinal fusion surgery. The procedure and recovery 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.

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