FOR MORE INFO: Jose Castillo: 212 470 6790
I chop up pop-culture imagery and brew them into my alchemic melting pot, specifically characters that we’re all familiar with, from classic 70’s and 80s cartoons, black and white movies, photos, cult classics, television shows, occult imagery.
This exhibition conjures up a dreamworld, blurring the boundaries that exists in between polarities, specifically the barrier between pop-fantasy and reality, the Hero and the Villain, light and dark, love and hate. Fusing life and death contradictions into a visual dialogue where opposites play and intermingle in a playground for the haunted, reflecting the vast array of emotions one can undergo living in the streets. In attempts to unlock the unconscious mind to jog the memory by breaking down the icons and using them to tell our story. Therefore celebrating the illusion of life, death and dreams, bringing them together and erasing all boundaries.
My childhood felt like a rollercoaster ride, moving in and around New York. I have many influences and many stories. My foundation was graffiti on the walls, trains, desks in school(sometimes the chalkboard with 44 magnum markers). Also my mother Ingrid Madera (being an artist herself) was definitely my salvation nurturing my gift, with frequent visits to the museums and galleries. Renaissance masters and contemporary works also heavily influence me. I’ve experimented with mix media but I find myself lured to oil paint. Every time I pick up a brush it’s an internal and external learning experience. Painting is only part of my process, the other part is research and sampling images like a Hip Hop producer samples records, digging deep literally and figuratively. It’s hard to explain piecing the puzzle together, because I work through my heart and just follow what I feel the universe is directing me to do.
In a nutshell, my paintings are an exorcism of self in the human condition while soul searching. My battlefield is a canvas for the war waged within all of us, for we are extensions of each other.