WESTWOOD GALLERY NYC presented a new series by contemporary artist Bryan El Castillo, who employs an innovative technique of collage, deconstructed photography and overpainting, to reconstruct fragmented and emotionally charged images. The artist targets the enigmatic nature of individuality and the current quest to secure one’s identity in a narcissistic culture.
El Castillo’s new series examines the aftermath of the stream of media images from television and film on the viewer's subconscious and his own perception of identity, as shown through a series of self-portraits. In one mixed media painting, Bryan is portrayed in a dreamlike sequence with coins covering his eyes, holding a television set which shows an image of him in a fetal position. In another work he stands lifeless with various wires wrapped around his body, yet no visual of where the strands of wires lead or where the source of energy emits.
The paintings refer to numerous individuals and scenes, such as the 1962 film Lolita by Stanley Kubrick adapted from the novel by Nabokov, or images of James Dean from photographer Roy Schatt’s Torn Sweater series to explore the impact of celebrity on everyday life.
“Wired” reflects our interpretation of reality, which may not stem from facts anymore, but from others' interpretations of the facts. The world consists of cultural quotes and mediated opinions in a system that closes in to become self-referential. In Bryan's work one can identify the images from films, read the titles of newspapers, or recognize a face; however, their presence does not provide an exit toward reality, but rather another entrance into the system which generated them.
About the Artist
Since his debut exhibition, Defragmented Reality, at Westwood Gallery, NYC, his work has been exhibited in Art Miami, The Los Angeles Art Show, Art Chicago, Los Angeles Art Show and has acquired a serious collector following. His Chanel-themed paintings which reinterpret the brand in his innovative technique were traveling together with an exhibition of photographs of Coco Chanel, 1962 (most recently on view in Hawaii, Tokyo and Hong Kong). His paintings were featured by The Huffington Post, ArtNexus, Dining Out Magazine and exhibited at the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art.
Artwork © Bryan el Castillo