Curtis Talwst Santiago

Curtis Talwst Santiago


Curtis Santiago was born in 1979 to Trinidadian parents who emigrated to Alberta, Canada to work in the oil and gas industry. His home was white suburbia and his influences were consistently his older brothers. One the athlete, motivator, and biggest fan who encouraged and championed his stage performance in their kitchen as soon as he could sing. The other, an artist, an actor, a thinker who cultivated Curtis’ interest and love of art and music at a very early age. Here he was in the middle of pickup trucks and hockey, learning about Basquiat and black artistry all under the tutelage and unction of his brother.

His parents and family are ever present in his work and his pursuits. His quest to discover his own ancestry taking him to Portugal and learning about the Moors and the African influence in art. He spent time in residence in South Africa where he learned to bead with the Beaders’ Guild and experienced a beautiful interconnectedness with local families and art professionals alike. His nomadic existence started in his early 20s and his willingness to go and be present in new places has dramatically informed his work.

Notable Solo Exhibitions

Pay de Devil-Brang! Brang!Pay de Devil at Art Gallery of Alberta (Edmonton, 2022)

Seeing Angels Seeing the Angels at Martina Simeti (Milan, 2021)

an erratum at Rachel Uffner Gallery (New York, 2020)

Can't I Alter, curated by Claire Gilman at The Drawing Center (New York, 2020)

Death of Swag at Fuse Gallery (New York, 2012)

Notable Group Exhibitions

14th Annual Dak’Art Biennale (Dakar, 2022)

Toronto Biennial of Art, curated by Candice Hopkins and Tairone Bastien (Toronto, 2019)

Smaller Worlds. Diorama in Contemporary Art curated by Zsuzska Petró at Ludwig Museum Budapest ( Budapest, 2022)

occupy and echo (a stage), curated by Tom Polo at Reading Room (Melbourne, 2019)

A Seed's a Star, curated by Constance Tenvik at Loyal Gallery (Stockholm, 2019)

Ten Years at Rachel Uffner Gallery (New York, 2018)

Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon, curated by Johanna Burton, Natalie Bell, and Sara O’Keeffe at New Museum (New York, 2017)

Public Collections Include

Studio Museum in Harlem (New York)


He has been featured in Artforum, Hyperallergic, New York Times, Forbes, The New Yorker and The Guardian, among others.

Installation view of
Deluge VII
What you doing? Just chilling with some friends
Installation view of
Installation view of
Deluge VII
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Deluge VII, 2016

mixed media diorama in reclaimed jewelry box

6 x 4 x 4 1/2 inches