Nelson Host Santiago – The Bronx Brand

Nelson Host Santiago

What part of the Bronx are you from? Where did you grow up?
You name it, I lived there. I've lived in Burnside Ave, 180th, Parkchester off Sterling, Grand Concourse, Fordham rd, Kingsbridge Ave. But home for me is Fordham rd off Davidson Ave. My Mom is still there, My brothers & Sisters are there, I'm there. All in the same building. 

How has living in the Bronx inspired or influenced your work?
Not only my artwork but my life in general. Everything I know is from growing up in The Bronx. Most of the people who mean the most to me I met in the Bronx. Artists that influence me and I learned from were all from the Bronx. But as for my art I would say it's a combination of the Bronx scene, Graff, and Comics shaped my artwork. For example, I outline a lot of my work like in a comic book. Bold and dark.  And I use products I use to use when I wrote graff. Spray paint, paint markers, Pilots, etc. 

What's your creative process?
I'm a mood artist so it does take me a bit to focus on what I want to do on a canvas, wall, etc. Plus I have a family and a regular job so I have to juggle that and try to make time to paint. There's times It could take me a month to paint one canvas. But If I'm on a roll, I can paint 3 to 4 projects a day. 

What ideas, if any, do you want to inspire with your art?
Right now my focus is on two subjects. The plight of my people in Puerto Rico and the gentrification of the Bronx. I have two paintings that cover both. One is called "The White Elephant in the Room" Its about Puerto Rico's relationship with the USA. And about the Bronx its "Little Boy Hood" The background of the painting is these huge high rises buildings going up in the Bronx and in the front its has a little boy playing who has been pushed into a landfill. I don't think its my job to influence anyone per say. What I do want is for people to look at my work, keep an open mind, and go out and do some research. Find out the info for themselves. So If I can do that then I did my job. 
You can check out the rest of Nelson's artwork and buy his original canvas pieces on his  website: