Santiago Giralda’s (b.1980, Madrid, Spain) paintings draw from art history and notably landscape painting, while also incorporating new technologies and viewpoints derived from our increasingly digitalised world. he artist begins his working process by photographing different places in cities in order to observe how the urban context has transformed and adapted the natural landscape. He composes images on the computer and then edits these by interspersing them with additional material he finds online, thus melding the seen, personal memory with those drawn from outside sources. he result plays with the collective unconscious - the notion that we have a collective memory bank populated by instincts as well as universal symbols - archetypal images such as the shadow, the tower, water and the tree of life. According to Jung, the collective unconscious has a profound affect on our lives, we live out its symbols and clothe them in meaning through our experiences and add to them from the likes of popular films, memorable news footage, remarkable global events and such like.
The idea of the persistent image as a source of power that affects our relationships to certain contexts or our reaction to objects is interesting to consider in relation to Giralda’s work. His paintings throw into question the place that nature occupies today in the sprawling urban jungle. Through the act of painting, Giralda opens up a space to ponder the different ways we relate to our environment. The image, taken from the media and made-up from coded programs, is translated onto the canvas. The resulting work plays with the romantic idea of contemplating a pacific landscape, but from the perspective of the hurly burly of contemporary life