Los Angeles, California
Victor Castillo was born in Santiago, Chile in 1973, an infamous year that marked the start of the military dictatorship 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 Victor’s tragicomic vision titled The Triumph of Pop Surrealism.
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 and Isabel Croxatto Gallery in Chile; he also shows with Helium Cowboy in Hamburg, Germany and Jonathan Levine Gallery in New York City among other galleries worldwide. Victor has created large-scale 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.