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Meet Santiago Betancur

Today we’d like to introduce you to Santiago Betancur.

Santiago, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was born in Medellin Colombia, I loved drawing since my childhood, doing caricatures of my teachers and I was fascinated by the characters of the encyclopedias. I was always a bad reader but a very good observer so I preferred illustrations to texts. My passion was alive and after my secondary school, I started my career in Fine Arts.

During my first semesters, I discovered the photography too and soon, I was doing commercial photography. After some years, I became a focused and recognized Fashion Photographer letting in second-level my interests as an artist. I was charmed and glad with my business surrounded by models and lifestyle. After more than 15 years on it, I was needing to touch base as artist again coming back to my deepest concerns and talents. I was needing to let a legacy transcendent and hopefully relevant. In the meantime, I was doing experiments with light as photographer in soap bubbles discovering another phase of my curiosity that led me to belong to the world of science even being an artist. In 2008, I came to USA with a mixture of painter, scientist and photographer after some shows and permanent exhibitions in Science Museums in Poland and Colombia. I won a world Award in San Diego, California in scientist photography so I decided to stay here in Miami with a talent visa.

My next step was to raise my name as artist founding a gallery in Wynwood. I was finally on the Spot after a hard struggle to achieve it and during around five years exhibiting and doing live performances. One of my highlights was when Guy Laliberte founder of Cirque du Soleil purchased one of my best art pieces to his collection. Currently, I have another great collectors as is Richard Coles, he has many of my best paintings and some my new sculptures. I am still painting, working in a new project with the soap bubbles and exhibiting in different galleries.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I had hard times when I came to USA and decided to stay during a long time far from home in Colombia. It was very difficult to adapt myself emotionally. The most difficult years were after being a recognized photographer in my city to start again and survive in the middle of economic uncertainty, nerves and anxiety. Anyway, I was convinced that I would achieve my most delusional goals and a hard work was the key.

Please tell us more about your art.
My painting has always been controversial and has generated all kinds of comments due to its expressive strength and a deep reflection about our body, behavior whims and nature. It has been a great motivation since that is why the work of art is made to generate new concerns and impressions. My artworks already has a style that makes it stand out because it has my stamp, my brand and my meticulous technique so the viewer identifies it when it is mine. My soap bubbles experiments, videos and images are the results of increasingly secret and thought-out experiments. You will see the universe as they have never seen it before. We are developing videos accompanied by beautiful musical melodies for a great project that will soon be on the market.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
When I was analyzing the behavior of light in soap bubbles a new world appears in front of me; in this precise moment I felt the transformation of my life. It was a revelation! A few months after that, I was displaying my videos and pictures in planetariums and other science scenarios in Colombia and Poland and sharing my images with science people around the world. Then the Miami Science Museum made a beautiful exhibition too.

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