Félix Santamaría is 12 years old, and he is already learning to navigate the world of intergenerational strife. His grandmother is a devout Catholic, a poet, and one who serves a higher calling. His mother heeds the call of the Academy. She is a professor of gender studies who has trained her professional life towards distilling Catholic icons down to their patriarchal reliquaries. Together, they cast forceful and conflicting spells upon Felix. From this oppositional push and pull, Felix finds solace in killing ants, visiting the local frutería, and the otherworldly abilities of the greatest basketball player of all time. He gazes daily upon his poster of Air Jordan, and his dreams take flight . . .
Ignacio Manrique is an artist who works from direct observation, and he is one who observes with lights dimmed and eyes closed. In the half-light of his dreams, Manrique renders spiritual forms with anatomical rigor and records respect for the seraphic with childlike glee; El Divino Niño de Bogotá must be nothing more and nothing less than the magical realization of a young boy’s reverie. Portraits of Félix Santamaría is an exhibition of cinematographic drawings made real through the medium of dreams.
Ignacio Manrique was born in 1987 in Bogota, Colombia and currently lives in Iowa City, Iowa. He earned a BFA in Studio Art (2015) and an MFA in Painting and Drawing (2017) from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.