Victor Castillo was born in Santiago, Chile in 1973, the same year that military dictatorship was established in his country. He began drawing obsessively at the age of five, inspired by the animations he saw on television, science fiction movies, and the illustrations on record covers such as Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”.
Following studies at the University of Art and Social Sciences (ARCIS) and the Catholic University of Chile, from which he was expelled, Victor joined an independent experimental art collective in Santiago. In 2004 Victor moved to Barcelona, Spain, where he dedicated himself to painting and established his style with references to comics, graffiti, and old master paintings, particularly Goya’s. His Explicit Lyrics exhibition in 2007 was a critical success with the national newspaper El País publishing a full-page article about his tragicomic vision titled The Triumph of Pop Surrealism. In 2010 Victor moved to Los Angeles, USA, where he is currently based.
Victor tells stories in his paintings. As if it were a contemporary chronicle, his work appropriates the narrative logic of illustrations for children’s stories, and the aesthetics of classic animations, to present us with allegories about cruelty, fear, rebellion, greed, indoctrination, violence, and other abuses of power that the artist sees being imposed worldwide. His colorful work has also been described as political poetry coming from the Latin American experience.
Victor Castillo is currently represented by Merry Karnowsky Gallery in Los Angeles, Isabel Croxatto Galeria in Chile, and shows with Helium Cowboy in Hamburg, Germany and Jonathan Levine Gallery in New York City among other galleries worldwide. His work has been exhibited in museums and galleries in Chile, Spain, the United States, Germany, France, England, Italy, Belgium, Denmark, China, Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, and Mexico as well as in numerous newspapers, magazines, and publications.
Victor has created murals for the National Museum of Fine Arts (MNBA) and Centro Gabriela Mistral (GAM) in Santiago, Chile; the Museum of Modern Art in Chiloe; and the Center for Contemporary Culture Barcelona (CCCB), Spain among other installations.
Click for an Interview with Victor Castillo or for Selected Press.