Presence | Absence

MFA Thesis Exhibition 2020 - Stony Brook University

Welcome | Julia Miller | Joseph Santarpia | Exhibition Catalog | Connect with the Artists

Joseph Santarpia in his studio
Joseph Santarpia, MFA 2020

My work leverages autopoiesis—the self-creative capacity of material—to explore questions of release, embodiment, and landscape. Evoking forms shaped by gravitational forces, land formation, and bodily regeneration, I produce artworks that speak to the function and structure of the body and the external world, resulting in new visual forms with varying degrees of abstraction. Through a series of ink paintings and cyanotypes, a sculptural piece, and a video, my work takes on a stark contrast of darkness and luminosity, referencing both the visceral interiority and the perceptual intensity of massive landscapes. My materials interact through varying ratios of fluid, sediment, light, and object.

Following the procedure and recovery of my spinal fusion surgery I’ve grown to be intensely attentive to my body’s sensations: pain, muscle tension, mobility, and the general interactions that occur along muscular and skeletal chains. The lived experience and physical consequences of this procedure have since quantitatively informed my life and art practice. As a consequence, my interest not only emerges from my own distinct embodied condition, but from my fixation on expansive space, driven by my desire to link the interiority of my experience to the extensivity of the physical world my body inhabits.


Listen to Joseph Discuss the Exhibition and His Work:

Watch Joseph Deliver his Salon Talk:


Flesh Forming, 2020, Single Channel HD Video, 4:12

Repetitions I, 2019, 51" x 56", Cyanotype

Repetitions II, 2019, 101" x 51", Cyanotype

Repetitions III, 2020, 78" x 51", Cyanotype

Scope IX, 2020, 96 x 120", Alcohol ink and monotype on Yupo paper

Scope VIII, 2019, 60 x 85", Alcohol ink and monotype on Yupo paper

Scope VII, 2019, 90" x 60", Alcohol ink and monotype on Yupo paper

Range VII, 2020, 120" x 144", Alcohol ink and monotype on Yupo paper

Range IV, 2018, 60" x 130", Alcohol ink on Yupo paper

Range V, 2018, 60" x 128", Alcohol ink on Yupo paper

Range II, 2017, 54" x 60", Alcohol ink on Yupo paper

How to Stretch: a bodily intimacy, 2019, Alcohol ink on Yupo paper, chain, plastic film, wire, dimensions variable


Want to learn more or connect with the artist?

Artist webpage:
To schedule a conversation with Joseph, please click here.

Salon Artist Talk by Joseph Santarpia
Thursday, April 16, 4pm
Click here to join Joseph's Zoom Talk


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