Cayetano Sanz de Santamaria
Cayetano Sanz de Santamaria
Foreword By Manuela Cabrales Samper

In the 18th century, when the second-largest fleet in history attempted to invade a rather small colonial city in the Caribbean coast, a man without an eye, a leg, and an arm; and only 6 ships, defeated the invasion. The one and only “half-man” was Blas de Lezo, one of the most important naval officers in Spanish naval history that led to one of the British Royal Navy’s greatest de- feats defending Cartagena de Indias in 1741. If the story wasn’t surreal enough, Admiral Vernon, who led the siege from the English side, made the mistake of assuming that the battle was already won sending the great news to England where the false victory was celebrated manufacturing medals showing Blas de Lezo with two arms, two legs, and two eyes; kneeling before Vernon.
Many would have said that the story is surreal, and it truly is; nonetheless, it embodies the essence of Cartagena de Indias, a city where the real, the mythical and the fantasy are intertwined. Conversations with the Toad who Drank Aguardiente at 5:30pm in El Muelle de La Bodeguita body of work, precisely depicts the ironical and magic surreality that embraces the city. The detailed artworks are inundated by endless mysterious stories personified by intriguing creatures that offer a vast scenario, located among Cartagena’s architecture, where the viewer can get lost.
Throughout the artworks, Cayetano Sanz de Santamaria, does not just offer us a window to his creative world ruled by his vast imagination, but gives us the access to understand the magic realism of Cartagena de
Indias and Colombia. Where a pelican drinks an aguar- diente shot with a toad below the sunset light; a crab, an octopus, an armadillo, a marimonda and the Carnival of Barranquilla bull mask play a vallenato; and a man without an eye, an arm and a leg, successfully defended the walled city against one of the largest fleet in history.
Sanz_Cayetano_05_La Bella y la Bestia del Caribe (The Beauty and the Beast of the Caribbean_ink & watercolor on unprimed canvas_34x26in_Painting_2020
By Cayetano Sanz de Santamaria
Sanz_Cayetano_05_The Beauty and the Beast of the Caribbean (Detail)_ink & watercolor on unprimed canvas_34x26in_Painting_2020
By Cayetano Sanz de Santamaria
Sanz_Cayetano_06_Sunday Scaries_Self Portrait_ink & watercolor on unprimed canvas_14x11in_Painting_2020
By Cayetano Sanz de Santamaria
Sanz_Cayetano_07_Untitled_ink & watercolor on cotton paper_9x28in_Painting_2021 (1)
By Cayetano Sanz de Santamaria
Sanz_Cayetano_08_Rider of the Storm_ink and watercolor on cotton paper_9x28in_painting_2021
By Cayetano Sanz de Santamaria
Sanz_Cayetano_09_Ratio Terribilis_etching_8x5_Painting_2021
By Cayetano Sanz de Santamaria
Sanz_Cayetano_10_What The Old Mask Brought _ink & watercolor on unprimed canvas_8x7in_Painting_2021
By Cayetano Sanz de Santamaria
Sanz_Cayetano_11.2_I Had to Pay the Swordfish a Couple of Pesos to Dock my Heart in El Muelle de la Bodeguita (detail 2)_ink & watercolor on canvas_33x65in_Painting_2021
By Cayetano Sanz de Santamaria
Sanz_Cayetano_11_I Had to Pay the Swordfish a Couple of Pesos to Dock my Heart in El Muelle de la Bodeguita_ink & watercolor on canvas_33x65in_Painting_2021
By Cayetano Sanz de Santamaria
Sanz_Cayetano_12.1_The Fish Market of Las Bovedas (Detail 1)_ink & watercolor on unprimed canvas_38x87in_Painting_2021
By Cayetano Sanz de Santamaria
Sanz_Cayetano_12.2_The Fish Market of Las Bovedas (Detail 2)_ink & watercolor on unprimed canvas_38x87in_Painting_2021
By Cayetano Sanz de Santamaria
Sanz_Cayetano_12_The Fish Market of Las Bovedas (Detail 7)_ink & watercolor on unprimed canvas_38x87in_Painting_2021
By Cayetano Sanz de Santamaria
Sanz_Cayetano_12_The Fish Market of Las Bovedas_ink & watercolor on unprimed canvas_38x87in_Painting_2021
By Cayetano Sanz de Santamaria
Sanz_Cayetano_12.3_The Fish Market of Las Bovedas (Detail 4)_ink & watercolor on unprimed canvas_38x87in_Painting_2021
By Cayetano Sanz de Santamaria
Sanz_Cayetano_12.6_The Fish Market of Las Bovedas (Detail 8)_ink & watercolor on unprimed canvas_38x87in_Painting_2021
By Cayetano Sanz de Santamaria
Sanz_Cayetano_13_Instalation Shot_Painting_2021
By Cayetano Sanz de Santamaria
Sanz_Cayetano_01_El Alcalde de Cartagena 2060 (The Mayor of Cartagena 2060 & watercolor on cotton paper_12x12in_Painting_2020
By Cayetano Sanz de Santamaria
Sanz_Cayetano_02_Viernes 3 am (Friday 3am)_graphite & watercolor on cotton paper_12x16in_Painting_2020
By Cayetano Sanz de Santamaria
Sanz_Cayetano_03_Burning Skies and the Stubborn Bravery of a Forgotten God_graphite & watercolor on cotton paper_12x16in_Painting_2020
By Cayetano Sanz de Santamaria
Sanz_Cayetano_04_The Oil Spill_ink & watercolor on unprimed canvas _8x7in_Painting_2020
By Cayetano Sanz de Santamaria
Artist Statement
-Conversations with the Toad who Drank Aguardiente at 5:30pm in El Muelle de La Bodeguita

The following paintings take place under a surreal Cartagena sunset. This colonial city located in the Colombian Caribbean has served as profound inspiration in my artistic path, and I hold it dearly as a reference point for both adventure and inspiration.

My main purpose in this collection is to induce a narrative into the viewer’s imagination allowing them to lose themselves in the details of the artworks. Although my work has some external references and inspirations that can come from philosophy, music, history and books, the themes and stories that are built throughout the pieces aren’t meant to have a single interpretation, rather they serve the purpose of being an instrument for the viewers imagination. This collection is an invitation for introspection. I expect each person to give themselves the opportunity to stimulate their deepest thoughts and feelings with the components of my paintings, creating their own narrative, one that suits their own experience.

Although the vast majority of my work is done in Ink and watercolor on unprimed canvas, a few of them were made in the method of graphite or ink with watercolor on cotton paper. This technique has allowed me to create artworks that are balanced between the aesthetics of a painting and a drawing.

I am completely fascinated by the idea of unleashing the chaos of my mind while combining it with the order of figurative painting and the architecture of Cartagena in order to express my artistic language with full honesty and passion.
Thesis Booklet
By Cayetano Sanz de Santamaria