Santarpia’s work leverages autopoiesis—the self-creative capacity of material—to explore questions of release, embodiment, and landscape. He received a bachelors degree in Visual Art Education from SUNY New Paltz in 2017 and is a 2020 MFA degree candidate at Stony Brook University. He's shown in galleries across the United States, including: Small Green Door, East Los Angeles, CA; Manifest Gallery, Cincinnati, OH; LIC Arts Open, Long Island City, NY; The Brooklyn Waterfront Artist Coalition, Brooklyn, NY; Limner Gallery, Hudson NY; The Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery, Stony Brook, NY; Gallery North, Setauket, NY. Santarpia is also an active, New York State certified art educator working for Gallery North and Stony Brook University’s Studio Art Program. He is the recipient of awards including The Goldberger Fellowship and the Dorothy L. Memorial Purchase Prize.
Born in Farmingville, NY, Santarpia grew up passionate and serious about athletics. At age 18, he had a spinal fusion of his L5, S1 vertebrae, altering his bodily reality. Because of this, Santarpia has grown to be intensely attentive to his bodily sensations. The lived experience and physical consequences of this procedure have since informed his life and art practice greatly. The two main components from which Santarpia’s practice manifest are (1) material approach and process, and (2) conceptual and biographical context. Both his material approach and the spinal fusion surgery he underwent, rely on systems of collaborative creativity (autopoiesis/sympoiesis). The fusion surgery uses bone graft, which is essentially a glue that hardens or fuses into bone over time. The procedure sets a rigid ground using rods and screws along and into the vertebrae for bodily regeneration to take its course. Similarly, Santarpia’s art practice facilitates a system of interaction: the flow of liquids and sediments; gravitational forces; evaporation; crystallization; state changes of liquids, gasses, and solids; UV light; emulsification; muscle contraction; respiration; cognition.