Santarpia’s work leverages autopoiesis—the self-creative capacity of material—to explore questions of release, embodiment, and landscape. He received his MFA from Stony Brook University in 2020, and a bachelors degree in Visual Art Education from SUNY New Paltz in 2017. 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. 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 & Central School District and previously for the Gallery North ArtVentures Program and Stony Brook University’s Studio Art Program.
At age 18, Santarpia had a spinal fusion of his L5, S1 vertebrae, altering his bodily reality. Because of this, he 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.