IN L.A.: Victor Castillo @ Merry KarnowskyJuxtapoz // Friday, 08 Feb 2013
Victor Castillo tells stories in his painting. As if it were a contemporary chronicle, his work follows the narrative logic of illustrations for children's stories, and the aesthetics of classic animation, to present us with allegories about greed, inequality, indifference, brutality, racism, and other values that the artist sees being imposed worldwide. His colorful and humorous paintings have also been described as tales of corrupted innocence and beauty.
"Under Heavy Measures" features all new works that bring his unique vision and characters to life: 15 paintings on canvas, 10 paintings on paper, 20 graphite drawings on vellum, and an installation of fiberglass sculptures. "Under Heavy Measures" refers to Castillo’s idea that the scales of power have become oppressive: inequality grows, the protests increase globally, and the brutality with which these demonstrations are repressed is also amplified.
While Castillo adeptly explores the dark side of human nature, he also celebrates the lighter side of human experience with "Double Rainbow" and other paintings on paper set during the daylight hours, which show mastery of his medium. Castillo applies hundreds of layers of color to create the lighting and depth for which his paintings are known.
Castillo revels in contrasts, in dramatic chiaroscuro, which serves to highlight the strong contrast between the evils he portrays and their innocent appearances. “The world is not what we are told; we can no longer distinguish heroes and villains,” says the artist.
Following are a few images from the opening reception.
Merry Karnowsky Gallery
Through March 2nd 2013