The use of multiple media, technique and material in the auspices of one work (called a combine or combine painting in the 60’s) not only increases the variation and the complexity of design, but also allows the artist to integrate material and processes inherent in his or her subject. This is the method favored by Pamela Yan-Santos in her chief oeuvre ever since she decided to expand the possibilities of her primary medium of print into painting, assemblage and installation. The 2009 mixed media work Making a Living Room is a primary example of this expansion of possibilities where the artist took advantage of the learning materials her son was using in workshops and classes as point of departure in the expression of motherhood and portraying a domicile with children.
In fact Making a Living Room is a self-portrait by way of a family portrait where the artist shows herself and her artist-husband Jose John Santos in the gestures of art-making amidst a flurry of papers, bric-a-bracs and other leavings of a domestic life. The painting is an instruction guide for her son to understand the space of a living room and how to manage through the objects within, along with its occupants in a lesson in shared living quarters, and the trajectories that occur within the house. Of course special emphasis is rendered in the encounter with working studio spaces, and the essential use of furniture: the map of an artist’s home as explained to a child. Color inside the line is an expression of setting up boundaries and limits, while being gently led to the idea of demarcations and zones.
Acrylic collage, serigraphy, stencil, graphite on Canvas.
244 x 151 cm (96 x 60'')