The artist Santlov is a Miami based photographer and graphic designer, known for his stages and photographs kitschy scenes creating seemingly realistic photographs consist of widely recognized iconic toy characters situated in realistic scenarios, uniquely synchronizing fantasy with reality. Toy figurines of popular comic book icons and film characters engage in mundane or subversive human activities like playing with their iPhones, surfing Craigslist, or graffiti-ing on walls, poking fun at human behaviors and foibles.
Influenced by the street art culture of Miami, New York, and London, Santlov created his own street art, helping develop and shape the skills showcased in his works today. He originally conceived the “ToysRLikeUs” concept as a parody and way to mock current trends and human behavior. In one image, Toy Story’s Woody has dropped his iPhone down a toilet, while in another, Gollum from Lord of the Rings hoards Nike high-tops.Speaking of the ToysRLikeUs Campaign, Santlov said, “it was initially conceived to be a sort of parody…a way to poke fun at modern human trends and behaviors.” He mainly uses the toys he grew up playing with, and does very little editing to their photos. And it was Instagram that caused the campaign to go viral; in less than a year, Santlov gained an incredible amount of followers.
Using toys of pop culture, Santlov creates eerie yet captivating photos that appear unnervingly realistic. Despite this dependence on technology, Santlov uses very little to no post-editing, as he aims to the push the limits of realism as far as possible. Santlov continues to fascinate viewers and demonstrate his talent and unique artistic vision.