Oct. 20 2014 07:18 PM

San Diego artist has pieced together a massive exhibition and hopes people will show up

Santos Orellana
Santos Orellana
Photo by Kinsee Morlan

Exit Through the Gift Shop: A Banksy Film, the documentary following Mr. Brainwash's fervent, self-fueled rise to street-art fame, quickly comes to mind when you walk into the colossal Carlsbad warehouse that Santos Orellana has infused with art.

"It's big," says Orellana, a North County artist who goes simply by Santos, as he strolls through the 20,000-square-foot distribution warehouse (2350 Camino Vida Roble), which has been transformed into a sprawling pop-up gallery featuring dozens of his paintings, sculptures and custom furniture, plus a mural that's roughly 25 feet high and 175 feet long painted on an interior wall.

Santos says the show started with an email to Bardia Rahim, founder of True Honor Clothing, the company leasing the space. From there, the ideas and energy spiraled, and what began as a simple mural project ended in what looks to be the region's largest-ever solo show, Lost and Found, which opens from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25 (RSVP to 760-633-1644 and follow facebook.com/theartofsantos for other events and updates).

"I think this is every artist's dream," Santos says. "For me, I've always known that this is the direction I want to go. I want to do massive shows in different cities and give them kind of a circus-like atmosphere."

The work on view includes Santos' early, thickly textured and colorful oil paintings; his black-and-white, winding line drawings; pop-art inspired paintings of cans of beans; large-scale functional furniture sculptures; and a few prototypes of Viral, a street-art character made of rebar that's currently under development.

Santos says he's excited to unveil his gargantuan exhibition to the public, but now that it's up, he's worried about getting enough people to show up.

"There's definitely a fear of failure," he says. "We've done this huge thing but we're not sure if we know how to tell people about it yet... And it's San Diego. It's sleepy."


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