b. 1981, USA

Santiago Mostyn Biography

Santiago Mostyn is a contemporary artist and film-maker based in Sweden. His interdisciplinary practice intuitively utilises performances, films, and installations to challenge the divide between different cultural spheres, and to critically examine perceived knowledge and history.

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As a child, Santiago Mostyn, who was born in San Francisco, left the United States with his family. The young artist was destined to grow up in many lands, including the newly liberated Grenada, London, and Trinidad. While now based in Sweden, Mostyn remains strongly connected to the countries of his upbringing. He completed a BA in Art at Yale University in 2004, and from 2006 to 2007 he studied under established Dutch artist Willem de Rooij at Frankfurt's Städelschule.

In his early artistic career Mostyn journeyed across the United States, taking photographs that capture the drifter lifestyle. The resultant series of photos were published in Excerpt: All Most Heaven (2008)—the first book to be published by Santiago Mostyn. All Most Heaven, with its hand-written notes and collage format, shows the artist's interest in communities and people, which persists in his main bodies of work.

After moving to Sweden, Santiago Mostyn studied towards an MA at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm, graduating in 2013. While highly diverse in format and execution, Mostyn's main body of work critically explores history and established cultural boundaries in the present, with an emphasis on colonisation and migration.

For Citizen (2015–2017), Mostyn embarked on the journey taken by countless asylum seekers: crossing from Turkey to Greece by rowboat. His journey, which, like theirs, was done without the necessary permissions for crossing the European border, was presented as a real-time two-channel video installation.

Santiago Mostyn's SUEDI (Slow Wave edit) similarly explored themes of migration and borders. Responding to Erik Lundin's popular Swedish rap song Suedi, which has proven particularly relatable for Afro-Swedish youth, the artist created two music videos: one shows two Swedish wrestlers sparring, while the other offers re-edited drone footage presenting the scale of movement of asylum seekers across southern Europe. Both present bodies in motion, in struggle and resistance.

Santiago Mostyn's art blurs genres and approaches. In 2019, he penned the essay The Blind Spot of Swedish Art World Exceptionalism for the Nordic journal of contemporary art, Kunstkritikk. In the article, he critiqued Sweden's self-declaredly progressive cultural elite, whose comfortable self-regard brushes aside cultural and artistic diversity. Santiago Mostyn's Kunstkritikk article provided the text for Notes on Influence (2019): a four-channel spoken word performance for laspis and Moderna Museet's collaborative event at Venice's Studio Giardini.

Santiago Mostyn's art has found a global audience for these global ideas, featuring in group and solo gallery shows, and art events around the world. Mostyn's work can be found in several major public collections, including Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Fotografiska, Stockholm; and The Museum of Modern Art Library, New York. He has also completed public art commissions in Sweden and the United States.

Santiago Mostyn Solo Exhibitions include:

Grass Widows, Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge, Canada (2020); Altarpiece, Institut Suédois, Paris (2019); HeadHandEye, Intercultural Museum, Oslo (2019); The Warming Plateau, Andréhn-Schiptjenko, Stockholm (2018); May Day 2012 / May Day 2013, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art (2015); Sans Tête au Monde, Kunsthall Stavanger, Norway (2014); The Sympathizer!, Capricious Space, New York (2010).

Santiago Mostyn Group Exhibitions include:

Unfolding Questions, Codes, and Contours, Tromsø Kunstforening, Norway (2020); Stories of Belonging: Contemporary Art from Sweden, Tartu Kunstimuuseum, Estonia (2019); The Moderna Exhibition 2018: With the Future Behind Us, Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2018); Survival Guide, Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada (2017); The New Human: You and I in Global Wonderland, Moderna Museet Malmö (2015).

Michael Irwin | Ocula | 2021

Santiago Mostyn Featured Artworks

The Promise by Santiago Mostyn contemporary artwork moving image
Santiago Mostyn The Promise, 2013 Single-channel HD video, colour, silent, loop
Andréhn-Schiptjenko Contact Gallery
Altarpiece by Santiago Mostyn contemporary artwork moving image
Santiago Mostyn Altarpiece, 2019 Single-channel HD projection, colour / black and white, stereo sound, loop. 12 minutes (video still)
Andréhn-Schiptjenko Contact Gallery
Ghost/Monument by Santiago Mostyn contemporary artwork print
Santiago Mostyn Ghost/Monument, 2020 Two archival inkjet prints in double-sided oak frame with poster prints
52 x 42 cm
Andréhn-Schiptjenko Contact Gallery
Flex by Santiago Mostyn contemporary artwork photography, mixed media
Santiago Mostyn Flex, 2019 Found photograph and advertising banner
Andréhn-Schiptjenko Contact Gallery
Last Picture by Santiago Mostyn contemporary artwork photography, print
Santiago Mostyn Last Picture, 2010 Archival pigment print on cotton paper mounted on 2mm aluminium board
115 x 143 cm
Andréhn-Schiptjenko Contact Gallery
Norway, Snowy Mountain by Santiago Mostyn contemporary artwork photography
Santiago Mostyn Norway, Snowy Mountain, 2011 Archival pigment print on cotton paper mounted on 2mm aluminium board
80 x 100 cm
Andréhn-Schiptjenko Contact Gallery
The Warming Plateau by Santiago Mostyn contemporary artwork moving image
Santiago Mostyn The Warming Plateau, 2018 16mm to 2k transfer, stereo sound, colour/black and white loop (12 minutes)
Andréhn-Schiptjenko Contact Gallery

Santiago Mostyn Recent Exhibitions

Santiago Mostyn Represented By

Andréhn-Schiptjenko contemporary art gallery in Stockholm, Sweden Andréhn-Schiptjenko Paris, Stockholm
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