Little Tech: Santo Gallery is Taking Us Around the World While We’re Still Grounded
While we’ve been in quasi-quarantine these last nine months, we must admit we’ve taken quite a few trips to particularly exotic and fabulous destinations…in our very active imaginations, anyway. But frankly, we’re starting to not believe our own lie anymore.
When we really start to miss our globetrotting life, though, is when we start flipping through the images from travels past, losing ourselves in the memories of the ethereal beauty of Amsterdam, Peru or New Zealand. And the new virtual gallery Santo has almost accidentally tapped into that very sense of longing/wanderlust, with a curated collection of some of the most breathtaking travel imagery by a carefully selected cadre of some of the best photographers in the world—including trashhand, Hannes Becker, and Martin Zapanta.
More than 30 countries in total are represented.
Indeed, founders Daniel Malikyar, a shutterbug himself, and Rosi Norton, an e-commerce specialist, have made fine art destination photography accessible, with pricing starting at just $175, and limited edition runs of no more than 150 prints. Each is sold with a signed certificate of authenticity, and is made with fine art quality paper, white mats, and top quality frames, so one can gaze up at that Norwegian fjord with the utmost confidence.
We chatted with the pair about how it all came about.
What was the impetus for launching Santo?
DM: When Rosi and I first moved in together, we wanted to create an environment that inspired us. We both feel happiest when traveling and decided to put up my photography prints from our favorite destinations to bring that energy into our home. We felt the difference immediately and wanted to share that experience with people. We started envisioning a gallery that would let anyone bring home the feeling of their favorite place.
What are your backgrounds?
DM: My background is in photography and filmmaking; I’ve been fortunate to create imagery in over 40 countries around the world. In 2015, I became the youngest Official FUJIFILM X-Photographer in the US at age 20. I’m also the Co-Founder of MGX CREATIVE and the former Creative Director for Marshmello.
RN: My background is in direct-to-Ccnsumer e-commerce; I specialize in building creative digital experiences that cater to what modern customers are looking for when they shop online.
What is the Santo mission statement?
RN: We want to offer a product that provides daily inspiration to all who interact with it. We believe that surrounding yourself with what you love makes a really big difference in your everyday life.
How are the photos selected?
DM: It all starts with the backstory; we take pride in offering perspectives of iconic destinations that people haven’t seen before. We’re extremely selective in choosing imagery that requires special access, such as doors-off helicopters, private rooftops, and from remote regions. My photography background has allowed us to curate our gallery based on these key differences.
RN: We also know that many of our collectors are buying for their home or another space they interact with on a daily basis; we consider how the pieces might interact with furniture or light.
Why did you choose to focus just on travel images?
DM: Everywhere I’ve traveled, I’ve noticed a common thread: people connect over places they love. By focusing on travel imagery, we wanted to feed that connection through work that captures the true feeling of each destination.
Do you feel that at a time like this, with all the travel restrictions, people will find comfort in getting to live with these images?
RN: I definitely think so. Many of us are aching to visit places that are beyond our reach right now. They also serve as a reminder of hope; there will be a day when we get to return to the places we love, and it helps to remember that.
What are your personal favorite destinations around the world and why?
DM: This is always a really difficult question, it depends on the vibe I’m feeling inspired by at the time. If it’s the outdoors, then hands down Iceland; if it’s street culture then India, and if it’s for a reset then Italy.
RN: Paris provides endless creative inspiration for me. I also feel like the island of Kauai is a very special place—I find myself going there to rest and reconnect with the natural world.