In Welcome to Santo Poco!, Steven and William Ladd welcome you to their new world, a series of works inspired by the beginning of their journey to build a studio in the woods of upstate New York.
As emerging artists, the brothers focused their work on shared memories, with solo shows that explored their early childhood, the home they grew up in, the schools they attended and the people and experiences that shaped who they are today. In 2017, the dream of a lifetime was realized with the acquisition of 19 acres of raw land in the Hudson Valley. A pond. A stream. Ant mounds. Chopping down trees with a chainsaw. Camping through the winter in in freezing temperatures. Sitting around a 15-foot bonfire one night, they realized “the time is now!” and in that moment a shift occurred where they began looking to the present and the future as the inspiration for their work. They named the land Santo Poco (Little Saint) and see themselves as the Two Kings of Santo Poco!
Their new works, like a miniature ant hill made of beads and wire and a beaded shed, each speak to their experiences of encountering giant ant mounds on the land and their dreams of building little sheds to protect them from the elements. Using their past life experiences and works as the strongest of foundations, the brothers now establish themselves in a new world, balancing the beauty and uncertainty of nature with their continued life and work in the city.
Steven and William Ladd began their formal artistic collaboration in 2000. Their work is hand crafted and labor intensive, and usually involves recycled materials. Recurring themes include childhood memories, faith, and people and places that have impacted their lives. Steven and William are deeply committed to involving all kinds of people in their practice. They engage directly with school children and their families, special needs groups, inmates at correctional facilities and hospital patients. They dedicate themselves to three core values: Spend your Life Doing What You Love, Be Focused and Disciplined, Collaborate.
Steven and William’s work is in the permanent collections of the Musée de la mode et du textile at the Louvre; the Honolulu Museum of Art; The Corning Museum of Glass; Mingei International Museum; The Rockwell Museum, and in the private collections of Beth Rudin DeWoody, Shelley and Philip Aarons, Howard and Roberta Ahmanson, Fidelity Worldwide Investment and John Studzinski