Drawing on paper is his basic work tool, some are sketches of his surviving works, others are sketches of moments he documents.
Nando Jose of Boys, Boys, Pride I, 2018
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. 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.
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.