Kristof Santy (1987, Belgium) is an avid painter who is inspired by folk tales and customs.
He does not consider himself to be a storyteller. Instead, he lets his artworks take the lead as he becomes submissive to the subject itself. He is inspired by his immediate surroundings, creating colourful and vibrant images that remain familiar.
Particularly influenced by what has come before him, Santy’s studio is piled high with artbooks on celebrated painters and 19th century unknown artists. The specific discovery of works by Jean Brusselmans had a profound influence on Santy’s own work as he began to find enormous freedom in the expressive painting of typically mundane and everyday subjects. Subsequently, Santy discovered his own individual way of painting, producing his first figurative works and still lives.
Santy collects all sorts of folk art that fills his eclectic house and studio that has become a cabinet of curiosities. Similar to his house, his large-scale paintings have become an ode to a visual tradition that has fallen into oblivion. Thematically ranging from classical portraiture to kaleidoscopic abstract compositions, Santy’s artistic practice covers a multitude of enigmatic imagery often populated by interiors, still lives, landscapes, gastronomy and folklore tales. Rendered in bright and vivid palettes, his works possess a joyous and playful quality.