Santino Amato

2022 Aim Fellow


Santina Amato was born in Australia to Italian immigrants, living and working in the USA since 2010. She received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2017) and her work has been supported by city, state, national, and institutional funding. Amato has exhibited at Samek Art Museum, Lewisburg, PA, The Arts Club of Chicago, Chicago, IL, and HERE Arts Center, NY, NY. She has held Artist-in-Residence positions at MOCA Tucson, AZ, MASS MoCA North Adams, among others. Her work has been written about in Emergency Index, CreateMagazine, and Lenscratch and included in collections at The Joan Flasch Artist’ Book Collection, The Art Institute of Chicago, Samek Art Museum, Lewsiburg, PA and the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne, Australia. Amato is currently working on a commision by the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx for their upcoming exhbition Around the Table: Stories of the Foods We Love.

Artist Statement

I was raised in Australia by working class Italian immigrants and groomed to become the perfect housewife/mother because my gender automatically placed me within that traditional role from birth. Labor exists in navigating a working class existence but also in any female experience whether carving out ones own identity beyond cultural traditions and expectations, or breaking down gender stereotypes within both personal and professional relationships.

My work explores the physical nature of materials that relate back to the domestic environment, such as bread dough, bed sheets, and junk mail. As a material focus, I am interested in labor processes and the life cycle of bread dough; once activated by warm water and sugar, the cells of yeast split and divide, similar to when an egg is fertilized by sperm. There is a peak moment when dough is voluptuous, full, and ripe, just before it begins to ‘die’.

Working within a multidisciplinary context producing large-scale sculpture using materials such as toilet paper and junk mail, live time-based performance, durational video or photographic portraiture, my work aims to explore and redefine a new role for myself within a contemporary and unconventional domestic environment.

Carol, 2019
Dis-rupted, 2018
Seedbed, 2019
Untitled, 2021
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