Vincent Castiglia in front of one of his "blood" paintings
Vincent Castiglia is an artist who fully epitomizes our current culture. With the rise of the "vampire" in popular entertainment, and our shifting focus on the organic and the sustainable, he is the perfect artist for our time. This Brooklyn born artist stumbled on a concept that will surely have a cult following in years to come: painting exclusively using human blood.
The concept seems shocking at first, but you will be pleasantly surprised by the quality and craftsmanship of the artwork. Vincent's "blood" paintings are comparable to the drawings of the great master illustrators from the Renaissance-- Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Durer, but with a more modern-gothic phantasmagoric twist. Using the human figure (anatomy) as his starting point, Castiglia examines the human experience and comments on our collective psychological and existential dilemas.
Using blood as paint, Vincent's illustration/paintings have a quality akin to classic ocher, the color used by the earliest artists. Mixing his blood with water, he applies the mixture to paper very much like watercolor paint. Some of his paintings are huge (seven feet lengthwise), which can take up to 30 vials of blood and several months to complete. Vincent believes that by using his own blood, his work literally comes "alive" with his own psychic/life force; dissolving the barrier between him and his artwork in the most literal sense. The resulting masterpiece is not only unique, unusual and rare, but also visually stunning and viceral. His art has the capacity to engage (or assault) us on multiple dimensions, from the most primal (by his use of blood), to the emotional and finally to the conceptual. The caliber of his work earned him the honor of being the first American artist invited by the H.R. Giger Museum in Switzerland to have a solo exhibition.
The artist's paint tubes and brushes
Vincent talks about his paintings in his own words, "I sought the most direct and personal connection with my work, one that could not lie or be reproduced. Although the paintings are often thematic, they are also quite visceral, and I believe it is because of this that the response has been so strong. The creative process is very honest and cathartic for me, and is an intermingling of feelings and experiences, aspirations and visions, all spontaneously congealing on the canvas."
Here are other examples of his work:
His work is currently on exhibit at the Sacred Gallery in New York. For more information on Vincent Castiglia and his work you can go to www.vincentcastigliaart.com
--all works and photos courtesy of Vincent Castiglia.