I admire works of art that raise questions and could be unorthodox. There is something about the shock value a piece can have when a person discovers how it was made & why it was made. Art that speaks beyond the physical is what I consider to be good art. This piece entitled “Gravity” by Vincent Castiglia, is one such example of unorthodoxy that appeals to me. This piece depicts this otherworldly scene of skull skewered by what seems to be branches, set to a view of the ocean with different patches of light and leaves decorating the border. I like the piece because of the haunting and chilling effect it has upon viewing. It makes you think what could have sparked this surge of imagination. “Gravity” recalls to mind the Surrealism movement. Surrealism had the aim to “resolve the previously contradictory conditions of dream and reality.” Castiglia, however, would call his style “figurative surrealism.”
The sole factor that sets Castiglia’s work from other artists is his medium. By looking at the piece, the viewer can decipher that it is done in a monochromatic of red. The viewer does not know that the color was achieved from the artist’s own life source: blood. I was immediately drawn into his works knowing this factor. Castiglia found his technique when sketching on paper and started using small amounts of blood, He said it felt like the first time he was able to communicate what he needed to address. The works of Castiglia focus on the existentialist themes of life, death, and the human condition. His practice of modern-day phlebotomy (blood-letting), which is the siphoning of life force which contains psychic energy, gives his works and himself outlet and form.
v What is your opinion on the practice of using blood as a medium?
v Do you know of any other pieces of unorthodox art?
v What is your interpretation of Castiglia’s works?