We Walk The Earth | Reads | Episode 34 - Santiago Pani

A spotlight on Santiago Pani

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A spotlight on Santiago Pani

23 Aug, 2023
We Walk The Earth | Reads | Episode 34 - Santiago Pani
In a heartfelt episode that reunites lifelong family friends, We Walk The Earth host Sergio Isauro sits down with Mexican artist Santiago Pani to delve into the intricate world of artistic exploration and expression.
The deep bond between Sergio and Santiago, forged since their early childhood days and nurtured by family connections, sets the stage for an intimate discussion on the trials and triumphs that define an artist's journey.

Hailing from a lineage steeped in creativity, Santiago's artistic roots run deep through both his grandfather, the renowned architect Mario Pani, and his father, a successful painter. Despite this legacy, Santiago confesses to a lingering fear in his early career; a fear not of living up to familial accomplishments, but of whether his successes would be truly his own or merely attributed to his heritage. This unease prompted him to venture beyond Mexico, seeking to establish his artistic identity on his own terms in Europe, away from the shadows cast by his family's renown.

Europe became Santiago's canvas of transformation, as he immersed himself in an artists' residency—a melting pot of creative minds sharing a passion for artistic expression. Amidst this collaborative environment, Santiago found not only the courage to step out of his comfort zone but also the valuable life lessons that camaraderie can bring. The isolation often associated with studio life gave way to a supportive community that fueled growth and helped artists overcome creative roadblocks.

Santiago's journey is woven with inspiration drawn from his fellow artists, yet his own growth and influence shine through. Revered by host Sergio as a source of encouragement in his own artistic pursuits, Santiago is a testament to the transformative power of creativity and mentorship.

Navigating the intricate dance between artistry and commerce, Santiago sheds light on the delicate equilibrium artists must strike to thrive. The artist acknowledges the complexities of the art market, likening it to a landscape where one's creations morph into commodities. This nuanced dance, Santiago reveals, requires recognising that art created for passion and profit can coexist harmoniously.

Rooted in a lifelong aspiration for artistic expression, Santiago finds solace in his studio—a place that feels like home. Childhood dreams of becoming a footballer or architect were mere distractions, and his true calling as an artist prevailed. This revelation aligns seamlessly with the persona known to those closest to him, as evidenced by Sergio's jesting nod to Santiago's culinary skills, bestowing upon him the title of the "best carbonara" creator.

A decade spent distancing himself from familial influences paved the way for Santiago's triumphant return to Mexico. The weight of legacy and the associated fears have been replaced by a liberating sense of purpose and creativity. Santiago embraces discomfort as a catalyst for growth and attributes his journey's successes to the moments when he ventured beyond his comfort zone.

Santiago's connection to family fuels both his heart and his art. He acknowledges their role as a driving force; a source of motivation and a grounding presence amidst the unpredictable journey of an artist. The unwavering support of his family has helped him to conquer his fears and forge his own path.

In the coming years, Santiago plans to showcase his creations at ZonaMaco, Latin America's premier art fair. His current works, born from an intimate visual diary, will offer a glimpse into his inner world, combining written poetry and dialogues with his inner child. These pieces will not be intended for sale but rather designed to create a personal and intimate experience for viewers. Santiago also aspires to unite the top 10 artists he encountered during his residency in Holland, orchestrating an art-focused celebration of their work and creative processes.

Looking back on his artistic sojourn, Santiago is humbled by the journey he's undertaken. The newfound comfort he finds in being an artist in Mexico resonates with a deep sense of gratitude and accomplishment. His path—paved with challenges, fears, and unwavering dedication—leads to a place of fulfilment and contentment that he never envisioned. As he reflects, “I never would have thought I’d be where I am now. I’m in such a comfortable, nice place all because of my work."

Join us in experiencing Santiago's profound artistic odyssey in this thought-provoking episode of the We Walk The Earth podcast, and find out more about Santiago’s work and life as an artist on Instagram.

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