In addition to black and white, red, yellow, blue and green are his primary colors. His impressions create a new kind of bright-colored figure-picture, in which the female figure plays an important role. The woman is surrounded by small, strange creatures, by objects that draw from an arsenal of contemporary images. Paintings, often of monumental proportions, illustrate a baroque world in clearly defined contours. They are simultaneously symbol and reality, and they seem to spring from a colorful dream.
In many cases, the paintings are components of a total spectacle. They are entirely subsumed by the sense of being hung up, only to be later – like an apotheosis, a final retouching – burned up, in the way that a triumphal fireworks display is ignited. When a picture is finished and the colors have been applied to the contours, tracks are laid on the reverse side, along which the fire can spread, thus destroying the painting. The artist describes this procedure as giving back his oeuvre to nature. In the early nineties, Santhori gained an international reputation with happenings of this kind.
Santhori’s works and colorfully painted assemblages repeatedly evoke an anthropomorphic given: lips grow feet and run across the street, a green bottle waddles its way through snakes and insects, bizarre figures appear in the lighted windows of a block of houses. Hands with sharp fingernails, thick-lipped fish, monsters with sharp teeth lie in wait for a female body. The woman is a delicate dream in the midst of a nightmare of small, colorful blocks.
Niki de Saint-Phalle’s flamboyant coloring and Keith Haring’s unselfconscious lines find a continuation in this oeuvre: in innumerable signs and motifs, in the playful somersaults of figures and signs, and in a unique image language that seems to be recognizable, but which has never been seen before.