Born in Puerto Montt, Chile, in 1961, Santiago spent his childhood dreaming of gray colors and watching the ochre sunrises in the horizon of his native land. His humble origins made him experience the harshness of winters amidst a family who worked hard to survive.
Early on, he discovered drawing, which eventually led him to painting. He was quickly noticed for his drawing skills and for the simplicity of his compositions. At age twelve, he began learning the fundamentals of watercolour and oil painting. At eighteen, he undertook formal art studies at the INBA, in Santiago.
At age twenty, the Chilean press praised his work that was exhibited in important galleries and acquired by private collectors.
In 1990, like an imaginary explorer, he arrived in Montreal, Canada, ready to face new challenges and to conquer an unknown land. The newspaper La Presse, of Sunday December 16th, reported his arrival. Through hard work and perseverance, Santiago began to establish himself in the milieu. Gradually, important art galleries agreed to exhibit his paintings. As an impressionist, it is within urban scenery that he finds his daily inspiration. His vigorous and richly expressive brush strokes are what characterize his style.