Work by Susan Santiago at the Andre Pascal Salon

By Jeannie Busby

Andre Pascal, stylist, and owner of Andre Pascal’s Hair Salon, located at 110 Hernández Macías, is currently featuring the paintings of the artist Susan Santiago.

The works on display in Pascal’s salon were completed over a period of three years. The most recent paintings exhibited in the main entry have as their central theme Día de Muertos.

Susan Santiago, a former art instructor from California, is a full-time resident of San Miguel de Allende. In the past few years she has explored both surrealistic and fantasy themes, as well as more traditional representational imagery. All of her work, however, deals with the life and spirit of Mexico and its people.

Santiago has recently changed her painting surfaces, and is currently working on boxed masonite. The artist recently said, “Since I work primarily in acrylic, I find the masonite surface provides me with greater freedom to work and mix and layer color. Since acrylic dries so quickly, I discovered that I really prefer working on the hard surface, rather than the more soft, flexible canvas that I have used in the past.”

Santiago has always been a figurative artist, and she never tires of portraying the people and places of Mexico in her work.  She states, “Mexico is a truly a visual feast and San Miguel de Allende, with its continuous fiestas, winding streets, indigenous peoples, architectural textures, and numerous mercados, continues to inspire me to explore new ideas, and will continue to do so for years to come.”

The Day of the Dead has always been one of the artist’s favorite celebrations. Santiago finds the attitude towards death much healthier in Mexico and in stark contrast to how people in the United States feel about death. She is very interested in the representations and rituals of death in Mexico, and how they play a prominent role in popular culture, art, and religion.

“I always visit the Pantheon in San Miguel during Día de Muertos. The first time I was there, it was a very emotional experience, for me, to see the families gathered around the grave sites, eating and singing, as well as quietly sharing memories of their deceased loved ones. I think it is so sad that in the US people rarely visit the graves of their loved ones, since most people have moved away from their original birthplaces. I probably have visited my father’s gravesite twice in the last 15 years, since it is located so far away from where I have lived for the past 30 years. I love how the Mexican people view the importance of family and how they remain connected from one generation to the next.”

Santiago believes the beauty and the sense of community in San Miguel are what make it such a special place to live.

All works are beautifully framed and available for purchase. You may also contact the artist directly at if you have any additional questions.

Pascal’s salon is open Monday through Saturday, and you can reach the salon at 415 154 6441 if you require any additional information.


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