Undefined by medium, Celso Castro’s works each carry the presence of the artist’s hand through the transparency of their process. Castro’s oeuvre is strongly divided between his photomontage assemblies and watercolor paintings: the prior is marked by the labor-intensive deconstruction of portrait photographs and the latter, by the seemingly frenzied recreation of a past encounter rendered in the drips and scribbles of paint and ink. Both discriminating in what they reveal of the subject, his photomontage and watercolor portraits exude raw sexuality through the combination of Castro’s mark-making and gaze. His narrative of the male is both intimate and distant - bearing the emotional qualities of autobiography in certain works and in others, an analytical eye towards the anatomy of the human figure. Celso Castro’s body of portraits is nonetheless a revelation of his own identity as a Colombian man and as an artist all at once.
Celso Castro was born in Valledupar, Colombia. He has a BFA from the Pratt Institute and has exhibited extensively in Latin America and the U.S.
Celso Castro’s work is a bare-bulb erotic photo foray into the underbelly of Colombia’s drug world. Castro’s labor-intensive, photo-collage works of drug kingpins, smugglers, hitmen, countrymen, street vendors, soldiers, paramilitaries, kidnappers, and pimps pose showing with pride their erect penises to the voyeuristic viewer. They look back at us with a shameless stare. They play the game that moves between vanity and seduction.