Marikit Santiago is one of Australia's most impressive artists, combining a skilful representational painting technique with powerful imagery.
Mythology, Disney, her Filipino heritage, religion, guilt, motherhood and family are examples of the subject matter she draws from and her upcoming show, 'For us sinners' at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art in Sydney, is set to contain some of the most impactful work she has produced to date.
What's equally striking is the contrast between her painting style and the surface on which she often chooses to paint: found cardboard, typically in the form of flattened packing boxes complete with rips, creases and packing tape!
Marikit won the Art Gallery of NSW's Sulman prize in 2020 with her work ‘The Divine’, a painting of her three children who were also her collaborators. We talk in this episode about how they contribute to her practice and why that collaboration is so important to her work.
Apart from winning the Sulman, Marikit has been a finalist in many other prizes including the Archibald prize twice. She has exhibited in 6 solo shows and her upcoming exhibition at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art is her first institutional show. It is curated by Micheal Do and opens on 26 March 2022.
We recorded this conversation in Marikit's garage studio with her stunning recent work, Thy Kingdom Come, leaning precariously against the easel. Rich with cultural and religious symbolism, as well as quite a few cartoon characters, the complex painting had been finished the day before our interview, after nine months' work.
A short video of Marikit in her studio will also be uploaded to the Talking with Painters YouTube channel and this website soon.
To hear the podcast episode click 'play' beneath the above feature photo.
Current and upcoming exhibition
* Solo exhibition 'For us sinners', 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney, 26 March to 15 May 2022 * Archibald Prize 2021, currently showing at Cowra Regional Art Gallery, NSW, until 1 May 2022
* Marikit Santiago* Marikit Santiago on Instagram * Egon Schiele* Rodel Tapaya* Jojit Solano* Balikbayan Box* Aida Tomescu video
Thy Kingdom Come, 2021 – 2022, interior paint, acrylic, oil, pyrography, pen, gold leaf on found cardboard (pen and paint markings by Santi Mateo Santiago and Sarita Santiago), collaboration with Maella Santiago, 167cm x 307cm. Courtesy of the artist and The Something Machine, Bellport, New York. Photo credit: Garry Trinh
Tagsibol/tagsabong, 2019, acrylic, oil, pyrography, pen and paint on found cardboard144.5 x 214 cmFinalist, Sulman Prize, 2019, Art Gallery of NSW
Filipiniana (self-portrait in collaboration with Maella Santiago Pearl), acrylic, interior paint, pen and oil on found cardboard110.5 x 100.7 cmPhoto: Garry TrinhFinalist Archibald Prize AGNSW 20...
Most artists remember their first show. Maybe they were lucky enough to sell a few works, usually to family and friends. Daniel Boyd remembers his. It was in the year he graduated from university, 2005, but family and friends didn’t stand a chance. The entire exhibition was bought by the National...
In 2010 Sam Leach won the Archibald and Wynne Prizes, two of Australia's most famous awards for portraiture and landscape painting, becoming only the third person in the prizes' history to win both in the same year.
The two artists to achieve this rare distinction before him were 20th...