The paintings of Victor Castillo have a unique eerie style. He began drawing from a young age inspired by cartoons, comics, and album covers. Castillo finally attended art school but found himself disillusioned with his time there. After leaving school he spent some time working with an experimental art collective in his native country of Chile. Next Castillo relocated to Barcelona, Spain. It is in Barcelona that his signature style solidified.
His painted world are most noticeably populated by children wearing clown-like masks: a red nose protrudes from a white face and any eyes are conspicuously absent. Though the masks smile, there is something disturbingly insincere about the expressions. Castillo carefully sets up each scene of his paintings almost as a sort of visual parable. A small narrative unfolds hinting at a larger message. Political themes such as greed or abuse of power begin to emerge within the symbolism of each piece. Castillo makes use of narrative tools often found not only in painting, but also comics. A statement from a past solo exhibit at the Jonathan Levine Gallery further explains the symbolism behind his paintings:
“In this exhibition, Castillo’s allegorical visions of the current socio-economic world crisis come in the form of spooky children’s tales. Through acrylic works on canvas and drawings on paper, his cast of masked, hollow-eyed children serve as a vehicle to convey ominous narratives of survival, greed and indoctrination. Inspired by vintage animation, his paintings are like theatrical sketches of tragicomic situations. With cartoon-like figures in the foreground and lush, classical landscapes in the background, Castillo’s dramatic baroque lighting completes the effect of exposing corrupted innocence.”
I love documentaries about things that I didn’t know I wanted to know about like the short mini documentary above. This is a short documentary about the very last glass eye maker in Berlin. Watch the full video after the jump.
New York based fashion photographer, Dominik Tarabanski, creates surreal editorial photographs that evolve around the notion of a ‘modern human’–minimal and sophisticated yet weird and edgy. Think of it like this: a mix between the early surreal photographs of May Ray and Lady Gaga’s outrageous closet and styling.
My interest and inspirations evolve around the modern human, photography is always the ultimate form of reflection. I hope that my visual sensibility will one day lead to a simple, pure and perfect organic form. I want to talk about the phenomenon of fashion in my own conceptual way, which leads to a smooth transition into the art domain. – Tarabanski
We continue our month long series of free outdoor screenings at Space 15Twenty this Wednesday, May 20th, with “Who the #$&% Is Jackson Pollock?”
The screenings are projected on the large outdoor screen located next to the Snack Bar. Seating is limited so arrive early to secure a chair, but if you get there late, no worries you can always sit on the floor or bring your own chair!
“Who the #$&% Is Jackson Pollock?” takes a more tongue-in-cheek look at the inner workings of the stuffy art elite than last week’s screening, “Basquiat.” “Who the…” is seen through the eyes of a beer-drinking, sailor-mouthed woman who may have accidentally purchased a Pollock from a thrift store- and the ridiculous rigamarole she must go through to have it verified.
Drinks, snacks and popcorn as usual are available at Snack Bar!
“Who the #$&% Is Jackson Pollock?”- Wed, May 20
1520 N. Cahuenga Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
See more Beautiful/Decay Movie Times for the month of May after the jump!
Joan Cornellà’s comic designs are clean and simple but pack a raunchy and provocative punch. His illustrations are light-hearted yet darkly humorous, relying more strongly on visual clues and gags as opposed to textual elements to indicate a simple narrative. Out of a simple bright color palette, Cornellà creates strange and uncomfortable images that can be weirdly funny and a bit gruesome. You can follow him on Facebook, where he updates frequently and has already amassed over 300,000 fans. Cornellà currently lives in Barcelona.
Artist Danny van Rynswyk’s latest work is a series of captivating digital paintings and three dimensional painted sculptures reminiscent of Victorian era portraits Skulls, Aliens and Beetles: Enter The Demonic Monochromatic Characters of Danny van Rynswyk and curio shop items. They are all monochromatic and depict a series of moody characters in contemplative stances. They are all dressed in Victorian era clothing and are sometimes sporting rabbit or demon masks which add to their eerie masquerade. His characters also have disturbingly childlike traits which add to the odd atmosphere of his project. His work is both beautiful and grotesque and in many ways inspired by the surreal and the deep, dark corners of the imagination.
He creates his work with the help of 3D software, which allows him to combine fine art and technology. He paints the sculptures by hand and, as a finishing touch, places them under antique glass domes, which add to the curio shop aspect of his work. The glass domes also add to magic of his pieces and make them look like precious collector’s items.
Van Rynswyk’s abundant use of skulls, gothic imagery and wide eyed characters reminds one of Tim Burton. The shadows in his work are purely German Expressionist in the way that they are painted, and play off an absence of light in order to create a stonger atmosphere. His work is the stuff of dreams and nightmares, anatomy and science fiction and it allows the audience to create narratives surrounding his peculiar characters.
British artist Tim Lewis’Pony has an ostrich-like anatomy constructed from three mechanical arms, as athletically human as they are programmatically robotic. Like Jetsam, Pony appears as less animated object, more independent entity, moving across the floor towing an empty carriage, the ‘ostrich’ is autonomous rather than interactive. Born of mechanics in the same way that genetics engineers use science, Pony is a sculptural creature that is full of wonder with a creepy prehistoric robot feel. See more of Tim Lewis’ work after the jump.
Mickey Artworld is a self-taught French artist who works in SFX makeup, prop design, paint, and sculpture to create highly imaginative characters in the styles of steampunk, science fiction, fantasy, and horror. His project Fragile, featured here, hails from this latter category; emerging out of a twisted mass of what appears to be rock or clay is a hideous creature, what Mickey identifies as a “tortured soul.” Featureless except for a raw, lipless mouth and snarling teeth, the alien-being writhes blindly about, howling in pain (or in some other indescribable, unidentifiable emotion). As it crawls and twists over the rocky mound, its skin appears to crack and crumble off like sand, giving it a corpselike appearance and adding to its expression of living hell. To create this frighteningly realistic piece, Mickey made the mask out of latex and the body a combination of water-based clay and makeup.
Mickey explains that the source of inspiration for Fragile was Silent Hill, the Japanese survival horror video game series known for its creepy, slow-burning aesthetics that disturb the psyche; instead of gore for shock value, imagine eerie, unfamiliar sounds in a dark room and grotesque monsters with strange, mutilated bodies — the types of illogical and horrifying things you would see in a nightmare. Fragile has the same emotional and psychological effects, producing fear through confusion and doubt. In confronting spectators with Fragile‘s macabre scene, Mickey hopes to transport them into “another world, a world of beauty and darkness,” where monsters like this one access the deepest recesses of our subconscious, eliciting complex feelings of both fascination and fear.
Check out Mickey’s website and Facebook page for a stunning collection of his beautiful and stylistically varied work. The photography for Fragile was done by the talented Warped Galerie, whose work will appeal strongly to anyone interested in horror, fantasy, and dark beauty. The model is San Keaton.