Santibañez is a master of refined detail. Working systematically, left to right and top to bottom, her command of the pencil and the paintbrush is found both in her methodic sense of order and in the subtle variations of tone and shape that are infused into each work.
In her drawings, which are often 12 x 9 inches or smaller, she creates a microcosm of the natural world. Gaining inspiration from what can be found in her backyard- ferns, tree bark, icicle formations- she transforms these shapes into an endless and simultaneous play of repetitions and variations. At once light and dark, vertical and horizontal, Santibañez’s work is a constant interplay of opposing forces.
Santibañez creates works that quote nature, and pare it down to its abstract essence. Interlocking verticals and horizontals create sturdy compositions that undulate with rhythm. The viewer’s depth of field is often interrupted: foreground becomes background and then flips, forcing the viewer to question which is the ground and which is the form, and whether the two can truly be separated. At the heart of each painting and drawing is a meticulous attention to detail and a complete mastery of craft. Santibañez’s work is not merely beautiful, but has a presence that defies its often diminutive size.
Katia Santibañez was born in Paris in 1964 and received her B.F.A. from the Ecole des Beaux Arts in 1990. She has shown extensively, both in the United States and in France