Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Marcos Castro — Mexican Metamorphosis

Just home from the framers (the wonderful Chelsea Frames, thank you Jaclyn) is my new picture by the young Mexican artist, Marcos Castro. This is my third piece of his, and it is wonderful. I was with my friend Alvin when I picked it up yesterday, and when they unwrapped it for inspection, everyone’s eyes lit up. “That is really beautiful,” Alvin said.

Castro imagines Ovidian moments of metamorphosis that balance menace and opportunity, crisis and blessing. In my new work,

“Lobo-arbol” (2007)
Ink and watercolor on paper
27. 56 x 19.7 inches

he pictures the threatening presence of a wolf miraculously transforming into a peaceful grove of trees. He moves from fear to peace through a cloud rising from the wolf’s back. Beginning with clear delineations, the cloud becomes abstract before taking the form of the forest floor. Representation is replaced with splatters, drips and drops of ink and watercolor, washes of brown hues, and conspicuous mark making. At the transformation point from wolf to tree ("Lobo-arbol"), Castro removes any artifice of realism to reveal his presence as artist. The image becomes two-dimensional for a remarkable moment. With ink spattering across the paper, the abstract climax of the picture feels joyfully improvised. As the eye moves up through the picture's narrative, a new reality emerges. The artist recedes and from the transformative cloud arises terra firma. Ovid would enjoy the tiny drops of ink flying through the trees.

I thank Gustavo Arróniz of arróniz arte contemporáneo, in Mexico City for introducing me to Castro’s work and helping me collect his pictures. They are flying out of the gallery, often spoken for before they’re even finished.

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