His first art experience, he says, was when he drew on the floor.

Filemón Santiago gives life to the canvas with its own color, textures, and stories, in his artwork, there are characters from the myths that his grandparents used to tell him when he was little, stories that his teacher  lived in his wanderings in the rural and the cosmopolitan, landscapes that he has contemplated

and events that he has witnessed.

Filemón’s work is loaded with contrasts that go beyond the use of color, its theme

reveals or kindness or pain, compassion or collusion, grief or joy in everyday scenes that are

get lost between reality and the mystery of what they want to show.


Education and career


As a child, he showed an interest in drawing, Filemón made the decision to begin his studies at the age of  14, becoming one of the first students of the Rufino Tamayo Workshop in the City of Oaxaca, at the age of 20 he moved to Chicago Illinois where he began his career as an artist.


His first individual exhibition was in 1978 and collectively in 1980. Today he is considered one of the five pillars of the arts of Oaxaca, behind Rufino Tamayo, Rodolfo Nieto, Francisco Toledo and Rodolfo Morales.


In 1995 he traveled to Holland to teach painting courses and currently he works in Oaxaca, where he lives.


Most Important exhibitions


His work has been exhibited in Canada, Holland, Japan, and in various cities in the United States and Mexico. His work has received the recognition of specialized criticism. In 1980 he won the "Logan" Award: Chicago & Vicinity Show, from the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Marco Award from the Museum of Contemporary Art of Monterrey, from this exhibition a large catalog was derived which won an award as the best catalog of art at the Latin American level.


Among the institutions that have his collections are the Museum of Punta del Este, Uruguay, in the United States there are four collections of his work distributed at the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; the Marco de Monterrey Museum, as well as private collections of various families.


Artist's quote: 

“My language is rural and most of my work is between what cannot be seen and what we see. I think I sharpen my senses to be able to understand that part and that is what my work does”