The Art of Victor Castillo

The Art of Victor Castillo

Painter Victor Castillo has been identified as a pop-surrealist for his distinguishable stylistic references to vintage comics, animation, and popular media. After experiencing disillusionment with his native Chile and studies in art school, Castillo developed his current style out of “frustration and anger,” and a dark sense of humor. His works spin ominous allegorical and political narratives of current world crises in post-apocalyptic settings; greed, chaos, brutality and destruction are frequent themes in his work. The protagonists of his paintings are frequently children with blank eyes—the artist’s metaphor for ignorance. Castillo admits that people might find his works “a little tenebrous or even satanic,” but explains that he is not a dark person, and is instead interested in creating accessible art.

Victor Castillo's work is like Disney in need of an exorcism. It's dark and sinister, yet somehow manages a playful tone. Victor tells stories in his paintings. His work appropriates the narrative logic of illustrations for children’s stories, and the aesthetics of classic animations, to present us with both the beauty and ugliness of our society, in equal measures.

"I feel that the world is a marvelous place that has been corrupted. You know, that it’s an incredible place to live, and life is beautiful, but the social system is corrupted and perverse. There is no power without conspiracy. In fact I think that we all conspire directly or indirectly, and we are responsible for what is happening through our actions and inactions. For example war — it’s one of the biggest most terrible conspiracies, and I share the view of Noam Chomsky when he says that if all the citizens stood up and said no to war, it wouldn’t be possible to invade other countries." - Victor Castillo

Author

Ryan Mulford is a graphic designer and artist.

Juergen Teller Photography

Juergen Teller Photography

Roz Chast Illustration

Roz Chast Illustration