Belong Gallery presents "Sabor Interno" by Marcelo Eli Sarmiento and Roland Santana
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Belong Gallery presents "Sabor Interno" by Marcelo Eli Sarmiento and Roland Santana
Installation view.

CHICAGO, IL.- As the world came to grips with the onslaught of a global pandemic, 2 Chicago artists explored the reality of making art in isolation. Sabor Interno (Internal Flavor) is an exhibition of paintings by Marcelo Eli Sarmiento and Roland Santana; the artists have been friends and collaborators since 2017, and they chose to marry their lockdown experiences in this self-reflective exhibition. Throughout the pandemic, they have individually grown their self-directed studio practices. Sabor Interno puts the unknown at the forefront; the artists present work created throughout the pandemic in isolation. While working alone in a vacuum, the artists found the desire for creativity and expression did not end. Up until this exhibition, the works have existed through the lens of the internet and a screen. Now these works have the opportunity to be viewed by the public and find new meaning and expression. Having lived through a year filled with grief, isolation, pain, depression, and uncertainty, the artists worked through these obstacles by looking inward. The removal of the ego permitted the artists to operate without the outwardness the public provides. Moving inward, the artists were confronted with an overwhelming force, the self, and the world within.

Marcelo Eli Sarmiento is a Latin American painter who is based in Chicago. After two years of formal study at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, Marcelo struck out on his own to pursue a self-taught practice.

Marcelo has had a steady self-taught studio practice for the past 10 years. His paintings are an accumulation of contemporary and ancient culture, a bridge between mythology and reality, fusing figurative and abstract forms. Investigating the history of figurative representation in order to create his own unique pictorial narrative. Finding inspiration from Archeology, Science Fiction, and Art History, Marcelo creates pictures that become a window to a multi-dimensional universe. Functioning as a kind of accommodation to contemporize ancient symbolism and simultaneously confront his contemporary experience. Marcelo has participated in group exhibitions throughout Chicago and New York including recently Fridman Gallery, Uncrurated Gallery as well as artist-run spaces such as Heaven Gallery, The Hyde Park Art Center, Wedge Projects, AMFM, and Chuquimarca. Marcelo's solo exhibitions include Hindman Auctioneers, Congruent Space, Blanc Gallery, and an upcoming exhibition at Compound Yellow in the fall of 2021

Roland Santana has had the pleasure to participate in several projects over the past 7 years. His distinct style and bold defiance of conventional norms allow him to maneuver confidently through many industries. Roland’s work is experimentation with color, shape, and line. With new technologies and materials, he continues to modify the techniques of old masters to truly be an artist of his time.

His experience ranges from showcasing at commercial galleries and companies such as AMFM, Heaven Gallery, Workshop 4200, Don Julio, and many more. Collaborations with event series like Epoch Entertainment, Le Fonce In the Dark, and Comercio Popular. As well as had the opportunity to work with brilliant art teams to design short films and music videos.

Today Roland Santana continues to work with exhibitions, collaborations, and patrons nationally, and internationally. Founding Rupture Chicago, a BIPOC Chicago Artist database and resource epicenter, has been his most recent project.

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