Juan G Santos is an artist and recent addition to Waltham, Massachusetts. In his work, he utilizes the language of comics and the recurring image of a cartoonish bird to address the difficult themes of bigotry, trauma, spousal abuse, and alienation. His work is meant to shock, anger, and antagonize the viewer. His artwork is a product of his experiences, and he uses the figure of the bird (inspired by his grandmother's parakeets in Puerto Rico) to represent himself.
Video Title: "To Run Afowl" (with Sarah Nolen)
Media: 6 minute Papertoon, or Paper Puppet Short Film (digital illustrations & cardstock prints, puppeteered with string and wire joints)
Date: created July 2020
Created through the Cicada "Art at a Distance" grant in July of 2020. Juan and Sarah met and collaborated for the first time without ever working in person.
"To Run Afowl" is a product of two intense weeks of devising, writing, illustrating, puppeteering, filming and editing. The story developed as an allegory to illustrate the artists' conversations around their own worldviews, the discriminatory treatment of minorities, white priveledge, Karens, unchecked systems of racism, and their shared love of twisted cartoons. "To Run Afowl" follows two characters as they move through a seemingly innocent world.