Profile: Eddie Santiago

Searching for balance in a chaotic world, Eddie Santiago’s paintings reflect the journey of someone who has seen the good, the bad and the brutal. His most recent show, “Perdido En Demencia,” explores experiences from living in inner-city communities on both the East and West Coasts. Deep, reflective faces emerge from the paint splatters that typify Santiago’s work. Symbolizing death, sickness and fear, the faces offer moments of intense emotion, which is central to his work. He uses his paintings to connect a commonality of our human existence. Everyone’s got issues.

Exploiting the contrast of abstraction and realism with his predominant use of blacks and whites, Santiago’s style brings equilibrium to each piece. The 36-year-old self-taught artist has been painting on canvas for just three years — he dabbled in graffiti before. Holding onto his original influences, he uses spray paint, airbrush and latex paint to create layers of depth to further the complexity of his work.