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.