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 animations, 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, 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.
No More Fantasies is the title of a painting of a boy with a horned helmet eagerly breathing fire on an amusement park, and that’s just what the artist intends, to wake us up to the contemporary reality he envisions. “The boy is rebelling against the fantasies,” Castillo says, whereas the girl with the cat is “using her power over the weak” in the painting titled So Cute.
While Castillo adeptly explores the dark side of human nature, in this exhibition, he also celebrates the lighter side of human experience with Double Rainbow and other paintings on paper set during the day rather than during the night and that show his mastery of his medium. Castillo applies hundreds of layers of color to create the lighting and depth that 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.
About the artist
Victor Castillo was born in Santiago, Chile in 1973, the year of his country’s military coup. After a disappointing experience with art school, he joined an independent collective of Chilean artists experimenting with different mediums. He moved to Barcelona, Spain in 2004, where he established himself as a painter. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles.
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