These portraits are not meant as mimicry— I am not aiming for duplication. (That is why we have talented photographers for hire. Let them do their jobs!)
What I paint is powerful imagining. And imagining—dreaming, keeps us alive. My greatest aim is to make you come alive.
That together we have potential to become more than wholly human.
Form, Light, & Color
Every artist has her "palate", the colors that we gravitate to time and time again regardless of how the subject changes. It's the notes in my music, and while I"m always reaching for new ones, I love the chords that I've found.
Your face is Excellent, but all the better when I take some creative liberties with it...
I never really understood photorealistic paintings. Sure, the skill is masterful, but if it's perfection you're after we always fall short. Even with a camera. That's not my bag. What I'm pushing to find a pendulum between the real and the ridiculous. No neck is that long or arm that boney.... but keep those eyes as perfectly alive as possible. There's no reason more than I like it like that. I hope you do too.
The Faces of the Painting
Every painting has a story. Just like people: some are more complicated than others. Some are hard to express, others are straightforward but hardly ever is any one solely "simple." That said, all of the work starts with a framework of basic elements:
- Inspired first by form (shape), then by light and color.
- Never take the human too seriously. If one ear is dramatically bigger than the other, I'm going to roll with it.
- I want to see the paint act like paint. Enjoy all those lovely drips.
Of course this is not the beginning and the end. Just the bones of the beginnings. But it's the structure that gets me excited, the drives the life and the meat and the story to pull together the rest of the missing pieces into the work that I make and share.
Paint that looks like a painting
As simple as it sounds, I don't want you to forget that this work of art you are enjoying is painted. The paint is what holds the final element of magic. Technique is important, certainly. Skill, practice, light, space, scale....all of that holds court to set one work apart from another. expresses
But my favorite thing is to be drawn —almost unwillingly,—in closer. From a distance you can see the skill and scale of a piece. But in the details I can see how it was formed; whether it is refined or gravelly. Where the telltale edges lead into tangential stories of color where they have been pulled together to craft something both disparate and unified. The awesome revelation that perspective sometimes falls all to pieces when you change your point of view.
The visible origins of the art is where the nature of the work has the chance to speak wholly for itself.
About the Artist
Alexis Castillo is an American living and working in Lima, Peru. Her work has been featured in publications, private commissions, and has won more than one international award.
BFA Design Communication: Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee
Exhibits & Gallery Representation
New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art; New Harmony, Indiana: November 2008- presently represented
Parallax Art Fair, Chelsea, London: October 2015
Arabica, Lima Peru; solo exhibit May 2014
Stabbed in the Art group exhibit; Baton Rouge Louisiana: December 2011
Buzz Café solo exhibit; Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Sept. 2005-Jan 2006
Portland Brew; solo exhibit October 2004
BLVD Art Gallery; Nashville, Tennessee: May 2004
Commission portrait works, commercial illustration (Denver Law Review, American Songwriter Magazine, Martha Stewart Magazine,) abstracts, graphic design, commercial and residential murals, personal painting sales: 2008- present
Can Serrat (partial scholarship), Barcelona, Spain: April- May 2010
Awards and Accomplishments
Show of Heads, online juried exhibit: 3rd place, November 2009
Leu Artist Scholarship, Presidential Award, August 2004
Best of Show Purchase Award, Belmont University, August 2003
Our most recent story of coming to Peru started as fresh fruit and a reasonable cost of childcare. Now it's much more a place where we all speak Spanish (in our varying abilities,) and our dreams come true. Not because Lima is some dreamy place, mind you. But rather because being here pushes me to find a space in my home and in my work alike that feels less like what my comfort zone used to be and redefine what my own definitions of "success" should and can look like. From here to anywhere, right?