College Forum — Vol 14, Num 5
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Living a Dream Inspired by MDC

In the work of César Santos, reality and fantasy are so inexorably intertwined, it is hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. Recently, the same could be said of his life.

Santos, a former New World School of the Arts protégé who graduated from Miami Dade College in 2003, is living what must feel like a dream, as accolades follow his masterful strokes on the canvas and his paintings fetch upward of $30,000.

First came his recent inclusion in Southwest Art magazine’s "21 Under 31" annual feature on rising young artists when he won first place in their competition for his entry, Young Versed.

Then he decided to give photography a try, and won first place in The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s "It’s Time We Met" contest for Dancers, his clever reflection on art imitating life imitating art.

“In a suggestive and theatrical way, I attempt to inspire questions in the viewer appealing to his or her perceptions and feelings,” Santos said from his new home in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Although he is now busy preparing for upcoming exhibits in Santa Barbara, Calif., and Spain, he never forgets his artistically enriching days at his alma mater. In 2008, he even created the official Miami International Film Festival poster for MDC.

“MDC fueled me with a great education and set a strong foundation that has, in part, structured my success,” Santos said. “In all my education, the most inspiring class that stimulated and still feeds my career was a theater class I took at MDC.”

— HP