Madrid-based artist Antonio Santín paints hyperrealistic depictions of ornate rugs that appear to billow and crease on the feet-long canvases. Complete with intricate motifs and fringed edging, the works feature thousands of textured dots, spirals, and complex arrangements made with oil paint that mimic the organic and geometric designs found on carpets.
Whereas many of the artist’s previous projects have focused on multi-colored patterns, he’s turning to monochromatic pieces with a focus on “sculptural relief that goes beyond the feeling of embroidery,” which has altered his process.
To achieve this level of intricacy, I now use pneumatic machinery. When compressed air pushes the oil paint inside a cartridge, a thin thread gets out of a fine tip. By controlling the speed of the output and the way it’s applied on the canvas, it is possible to shape oil paint into complex filigrees. Later, I apply a dark oil paint glazing, which not only produces the chiaroscuro that creates the trompe l’oeil, it also serves as a patina that highlights all the sculptural relief in the painting.
Some of Santín’s illusory pieces are on view at the Nassau County Museum of Art in New York, although it currently is closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, and the artist is preparing for a solo show at Galerie ISA in Mumbai in January 2021. To follow his heavily detailed work, head to Instagram.