We first saw Andrea Santos' work at her graduating thesis show at RISD last year where she received her MFA in Printmaking. We were immediately taken with her expansive approach to print and her finely tuned sensitivity to material and surface. Andrea was kind enough to answer a few questions we've shared below.
When did you start printing?
I first started printmaking as an undergrad at MassArt in Boston, which was back in 2007. I came in as a transfer student from Umass Dartmouth and wanted to pursue costume design, so I took fashion classes, welding, jewelry—then I took an etching class on a whim and was instantly hooked. I was a little timid to go into fine arts back then, but I think it was always clear that I wouldn’t end up in a design-based field. My trajectory from the point of deciding to go to art school up until now makes a lot of sense to me as I look back at it. I think printmakers are often lovers of drawing and transforming material, which has been at the core of everything I make, whether it’s a sculpture or an etching.
Where do you make your work? Home studio? Shared print space?
I teach at Pratt so I’m really fortunate to have printshop access there, although most of my work is made in my shared studio space in Bed Stuy. I’m actually in the process of overhauling the space with my friend (and fellow MassArt printmaker) Skye Schirmer. We’re building out semi-private spaces and planning to hold pop-up shows and monthly critiques, and eventually start up small publication projects with other artists.
Who would you love to collaborate with?
I’m hoping to collaborate with Wing Club Press in Portland, ME sometime. I was able to visit their shop when I was in Maine recently and was totally blown away—they’re doing really amazing work with risograph and silkscreen. I think Small Editions in Brooklyn does very cool stuff too, and I love that they are a bindery studio/publisher/exhibition space. But perhaps on a different spectrum, I would love to collaborate with a video artist. I’ve been obsessing over Rachel Rose’s work since seeing one of her installations titled “Everything and More” at the Whitney last year. She has a way of translating physical materiality through a flat screen, it’s really incredible!
What are you working on at the moment?
Etchings, actually! I haven’t been able to work in my studio while it’s getting a make-over so I’m keeping busy in the printshop with a couple multi-color prints. It's nice to come back to printmaking in-between sculpture projects, too. They always end up informing each other in some way.