These Emerging Artists Are Shaping Santiago's Contemporary Art Scene

"Insight" | © Felipe Galaz
Photo of Charis McGowan
4 October 2018

Santiago is going through a period of cultural creativity, and the arts scene has never felt so vibrant as it has in recent years. There are brilliant emerging artists in a multitude of disciplines on the scene in Santiago, making the streets, cafés and exhibition spaces in the city more colorful, intriguing and beautiful. Here are a few you should discover.


This street art duo has been creating art since 2007 — they are well known in the underground street art world, among Santiago’s best. With commercial projects and a global portfolio, Abusa is rapidly rising, their colorful murals standing out amongst the city’s grittier backdrops. Their work can be seen around the world, in countries such as Uruguay, Berlin and Mexico. They also host workshops and are active in encouraging women to participate in street art.

Felipe Galaz

Felipe Galaz‘s artworks surge with emotion, depth and complexity. While he studied Visual Arts at the University of Chile, Galaz’s skill in realism was honed through experience and personal inspirations. Galaz traveled throughout Europe, Africa, and North America, settling in Rio de Janeiro, where he is currently exhibiting his works with several galleries that represent him.

Daniela Contreras

Daniela Contreras creates beautifully detailed tapestries and textile-based work. She was motivated to learn weaving based on her interests in both European and Pre-Columbian techniques and their historical, storytelling significance. Her tapestries often focus on a single person, be it a self-portrait or of someone else, conveying an intimate sense of feeling within her woven subjects. Contreras has exhibited around the city, and runs textile art workshops.


Abrigo-Lagos is a Santiago-born artist who uses calligraphy and Indian ink to shape his intricately patterned canvassed insects. Fascinated by the symmetrical detail of insects, Abrigo-Lagos began experimenting with patterns within the wings and bodies of nature’s tiniest creatures, celebrating their decorative beauty. He works with the objective to not only preserve his country’s ethnic traditions, but also to encourage people to value the natural world as Chile’s indigenous communities do.

Paula López Droguett

Paula Lopez Droguett is a visual artist from Santiago, who uses cinematic influences to craft her startling photography and installation work. Her book, This Body Is Not Mine, depicts a series of photos of women’s bodies before and after operations, which she described as the “hidden reality behind the perfect image.” She recently exhibited a photo series based on pregnancy, “Maternidad,” capturing the intimate, unseen details of a woman’s body as it goes through changes before and after childbirth. Droguett has exhibited her work in museums and spaces in Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Mexico, Italy, France and Spain.

Carla Granifo

Carla Granifo is a photographer, make-up artist and stylist, trained in Buenos Aires with a background in art direction. Inspired by fashion photography and visuals, Granifo experiments with make-up and hair techniques to create artistic work with mostly female subjects. Her work is presented in photography and film, which showcase her attention to meticulous detail and dedication to bold, aesthetic concepts. She has worked in Argentina and Chile, most recently debuting her fashion film ADAIR at this year’s Santiago Fashion Film Festival.

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