Issa Sant

Is it, that as in essence whiteness is not so much a colour  as the visible absence of color? And at the same time whiteness is the  sum of all colours?

Is it for this reason that there is such a blankness full of meaning in a wide  landscape of snow? A colourless, all-colour of atheism?

It is the emptiness of the white that is more disturbing, than even the bloodiness of red.

This quality it is, which causes the thought of  whiteness – when divorced from more kindly associations – to heighten  that terror and that beauty to the furthest bounds.

Herman Melville / The Whiteness


Issa Sant fathoms layers of human being, by exhibiting bodies bare of every social or individual protection layer. The haunting figures of her paintings embody human condition in all its vulnerability, violence and beauty.

Sant’s nameless figures are naked and bare in a radical way: Muscles, bones and flesh aggregate to tender and frail figures, which seem to come out of the white surrounding. Without definite contour they get their uncanny presence from the maelstrom-like force of intertwining brush marks, which allow the underlying tissues to shrine through. The defenseless openness of the exposed bodies is disconcerting and comforting simultaneously: without any limitation, isolation and intimacy, desire and pain, sorrow and hope becomes visible.

In the encounter with other figures, an interhuman structure occurs: Moments of loneliness and affection, struggle and love. With this, Sant disclaims defined and defining temporal and spatial descriptions and attributes: the figures are held in a pure white space, totally thrown back on themselves and the Other. In such imperiled, fragile and singular encounters, Sant discovers beauty.

Issa Sant lives and workes in Berlin.

Jon M. Lennartz