Santlov is a Miami-based photographer/graphic artist and mastermind behind the viral ToysRLikeUs photography campaign. His seemingly realistic photographs consist of widely recognized, iconic toy characters finding themselves in the midst of relatable everyday-like human scenarios – a style that uniquely synchronizes fantasy with reality.
Having grown up in Miami, Santlov got involved in art by way of graffiti as a teenager being heavily influenced by the Miami, NYC and London street art scenes and cultures. Although his own participation in street art “kept him in some trouble…it also helped in developing and shaping the skills and styles he showcases in his works.”
The actual ToysRLikeUs concept, says Santlov, “was initially conceived to be a sort of parody…a way to poke fun at modern human trends and behaviors.” Most of the scenes that Santlov captures feature actual toys he grew up playing with and speak to society’s dependence on technology, most notably smartphones, tablets and computers. Despite this societal dependence on technology, Santlov uses very little to no post-editing at all. The purpose of his photographs is to push the limits of “realism” as far as possible.
Many of the concepts Santlov creates are inspired by personal experiences and the trends that people follow and find themselves immersed in, one of them being the widespread usage of the Instagram photo-sharing phone app. In fact, it was on Instagram that Santlov’s ToysRLikeUs campaign literally went viral. In less than one year’s time, Santlov has cultivated a following that exceeds well over 200,000 people - all of whom receive new images directly from Santlov every single day.
Santlov continues to challenge himself as an artist. The widespread support he has received and his commitment to sharing his unique creations means that this hungry, multi-talented contemporary artist is here to stay. Be sure to follow Santlov on Instagram (username: Santlov) and visit ToysRLikeUs.com to register your email for future updates regarding limited releases of his work for purchase, upcoming news and additional contact information.
Written by Daniel Burstyn from OFM Talent, Inc., Miami Beach FL.