Mad World: The Postmodern Nightmares of Victor Castillo

Truly strange and at times disturbing, the art of Victor Castillo is like a feverish nightmare in which grotesque children seem to live in a chaotic world of their own making, seemingly without adult supervision. Like a playground dreamed up by H.R Gieger and Tim Burton, his work is dark and alienating, yet strangely alluring and at times even humorous. His work seems oddly contemporary and yet old fashioned at the same time.

Fueled by comics, illustration, music and television, Castillo’s main influences can be found in animation (Ren and Stimpy, The Simpsons, vintage cartoons) and pop surrealist artists such as Manuel Ocampo, Mark Ryden, and especially Gary Baseman. Born in Santiago de Chile in 1973, he began drawing obsessively at the age of five, inspired by the animations he saw on television, science fiction movies, and the illustrations on his family’s record covers, such as Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”.

He moved to Barcelona, Spain in 2004, where he established a distinct painting style with references to comics. After seeing the Prado Museum in Madrid, particularly Goya’s “Black Paintings,” he adopted aspects of classical painting in his work, giving birth to an even more personal and adult style to his work. He currently works and resides in Los Angeles, California.

His art makes not-so-subtle comments on daily consumption, greed and consumerism. His characters are monstrous beings wearing grotesque masks with black hollow eyes and long red sausage noses, enslaved to flesh, money and power. He also makes statements about status, nuclear war, overindulgence and sex. Through these artistic statements he attempts to reveal the violence of everyday life and how the feral ferocity and savagery of an animal can often lay just beneath the surface of even the most innocent looking of people.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the mad world of Victor Castillo.

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About Stephen Kelly Creative

Hi, I'm Stephen Kelly, a writer, editor, photographer and graphic designer living in beautiful San Francisco, CA, USA. Amongst the things I love are writing, photography, movies, music, fitness, travel, Batman, all things Australian, food and fun, all of which I hope to reflect in this here blog. Welcome aboard ... now let's get busy!
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12 Responses to Mad World: The Postmodern Nightmares of Victor Castillo

  1. petit4chocolatier says:

    I have never seen Victor Castillo art. It is intriguing with an macabre children of the corn edgy twist! I sort of like it though!!

  2. Wow, Stephen, Castillo is one of the creepiest (sorry, not a genuinely artistic evaluative word, but…I mean to say!) artists you’ve featured. “Life is sweet” is strangely one of the darker ones, despite the fact that so many of the others are dark in colors.

    • Hi Victoria … no, it’s okay … his work is kinda creepy, but weirdly alluring. I dunno … maybe it’s just the mood I’ve been in lately. Kind of hesitated before posting his work because it is so dark. But I find it pretty interesting, so I thought I’d throw it out there and see what others think. I really like his use of dark colors and shadows, and how a lot of them look they’re being lit by firelight.

  3. Drew says:

    Hahaha the gamer in me just screamed out “Fallout!” Have you seen the art style for Fallout? It’s very similar in its retro and bizarre nature. http://gluejunkie.com/gjblog/wp-content/uploads/wpsc/category_images/Vault_boy_Fallout_3_by_Cthulhu432.jpg

    • Hey Drew! Interesting … that’s a cool image. Has that kinda space-age, fifties-style advertising look that I love it. It looks like he’s wearing a retro version of a futuristic space suit. Hmmm … I just had a Halloween costume inspiration!
      Hey, btw, congrats … your Vikings are on a roll, including that big win against my Niners two weeks ago! I’m really impressed with their quarterback … tough under pressure! Cool! Go Vikes!

  4. Angeline M says:

    Great art! I do like it. My favorite is Life is Sweet; the two kids look almost like the kids in the early readers from years and years ago, Dick and Jane…..only these two have sausage noses. What is his thing with sausages?

  5. These images are just insanely cool!

  6. Anonymous says:

    i have a question what they uses in his painting

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