SANTA FE, NM.- What is it to be a Santero in the 21st century? Our world, though filled with constant distraction, still needs the sustenance of the image. The Santero has always filled the need to help find ourselves spiritually by the depiction of the actions of the more fully realized Saints.
Todays world may be somewhat more skeptical than that of the 19th century Santero, but even today we are receptive to a new telling, a new depiction, a new way to find connection.
These three image makers have found ways to explore the time-honored tradition in unique ways:
Charlie Carrillo is a well known Santero, most recognized for his exquisite traditional work. But anybody who meets Charlie will notice a twinkle and a sense of humor in his eyes. Charlie brings that humor into his interpretations of the saints in modern context: Saints in pickup trucks wearing denim. Charlie has been recognized by the Museum of International Folk Art, with a Hispanic Heritage award. He also received a Lifetime Achievement Award at Spanish Market and an NEA National Heritage Fellowship.
Vicente Telles combines vivid comic book inspired interpretations of Bible stories with traditional themes. He has won numerous awards for his work and most recently was featured as one of three artists in the National Hispanic Cultural Centers exhibition This Place Where I Am From
Clay Peres is perhaps best known in the New Mexico film community as a location manager. He is also an accomplished photographer. Axle Contemporary is pleased to premier his experimental approach, mixing photography, and painting with acrylic and mud to channel his reverence for the icons of the Southwest.