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Carlos Santistevan

Denver, Colorado 1938


Santero, born in 1938 in Denver, Colorado. Santistevan, a descendant of Pedro Antonio Fresquís, lives in Denver. In addition to creating santos, both traditional and contemporary, Santistevan documents his commitment to the santero tradition by producing films and conducting demonstrations of his work.

Latino Art and Culture Bilingual Study Guide (Washington, D.C.: National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 1996)

Additional Biographies

Carlos Santistevan was born in Denver, Colorado, in 1938. Largely self-taught as an artist, he began producing images of saints when he was young. Santistevan played an important role in the creation of the Chicano art movement, opening in 1966 El Centro de la Cruzada para la Justicia—the nation's first permanent exhibition space for Chicano art. A descendant of Pedro Antonio Fresquís, Santistevan creates santos that go beyond the carving tradition because of his use of mixed media as well as his sharp sense of humor about the nature of religious art—and Catholicism itself—in Mexican and Mexican-American culture. Santistevan lives in Denver.

National Museum of American Art (CD-ROM) (New York and Washington D.C.: MacMillan Digital in cooperation with the National Museum of American Art, 1996)