Patrick Santos – San Francisco, California

Patong Tea cups, saucers, tea spoons, thread, disco ball motors 2013

Patong Tea cups, saucers, tea spoons, thread, disco ball motors 2013

Briefly describe the work you do.

My work is greatly inspired my personal life. I tend to work in photography, video and installation. I use objects found in gatherings, parties and groups because I am interested in the temporality, disposability and mass produced quality of ‘party’ objects.

Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist.

As a queer person, that itself influences my art greatly. When I am doing my projects, especially my documentary photography work, I can imagine my work through a neutral non-judgmental perspective.

The concept of the “artist studio” has a broad range of meanings, especially in contemporary practice. The idea of the artist toiling away alone in a room may not necessarily reflect what many artists do from day to day anymore. Describe your studio practice and how it differs from (or is the same as) traditional notions of “being in the studio.”

My studio is a place where I can keep my art making separate from my home life. In my studio I mostly work on the floor because I need a large amount of space that a table cannot give me. Which means my tools are on the floor, I sit on the floor, pretty much everything is low which is how I like to work.

Sewn Found photography, string various sizes 2014

Sewn Found photography, string various sizes 2014

What unique roles do you see yourself as the artist playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?

In my photography work, I never thought I was going to make art that was more than just creating photographs. I’ve experimented in video, collage, and installation with my photography work. I believe that experimentation is important and everyone should step out of their comfort zone.

When do you find is the best time of day to make art? Do you have time set aside every day, every week or do you just work whenever you can?

Making art is not on a set schedule. Thats why I have my pocket book to write down all the ideas that randomly come to me even when they are not the best ideas or seem impossible to make.

Patong (Detail)

Patong (Detail)

How has your work changed in the last five years? How is it the same?

Well 5 years ago I was graduating from high school knowing that I wanted to pursue a career in photography. Within those 5 years I moved to San Francisco to study art, experimented in different media, and met influential artists. My artwork was not like how it was when I started and I am surprised with what I have created.

Are there people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers or even pop icons that have had an impact on the work you do?

My family is definitely is a factor in how I do work. They have always supported me and never made me second guess my decisions. A few artists than inspire me are Roman Signer, John Stezaker, and the artist’s work that influenced me to pick up the camera in the first place is Natsumi Hayashi.

If you had an occupation outside of being an artist, what would that be and why?

I feel like I would be a great chef. Similar to art I still get to be creative with my hands, theres some kind of process, and I get to learn about other cultures and their history. I actually contemplated going to culinary school but making art seemed more exciting to me.


HeadshotBorn and raised in sunny southern California, Patrick Santos was always interested in cameras. Growing up, the thought of capturing anything with a camera interested him greatly which led him to explore film and photography.Patrick has moved to San Francisco in 2012 to pursue his BFA in Fine Art Photography.

Since then, Patrick has explored new media of creating conceptual art which included video, collage, and installation. This inspired him to pursue a minor in New Genres with his BFA in Photography (expected graduation date 2015).

Today, Patrick explores the ideas of the gatherings, parties, and group dynamics by using readymades, digital photography, and found photography in his conceptual art.

Studio Detail

All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission. 


About 365Artists/365Days

The purpose of this project is to introduce its readership to a diverse collection of art that is being produced at the national and international level. Our goal is to engage the public with information regarding a wide array of creative processes, and present the successes and failures that artists face from day to day. The collaborators hope that this project will become a source for exploring and experiencing contemporary art in all its forms.
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