Merry Karnowsky Gallery is proud to present Gameland, a solo exhibition by Barcelona-based Chilean artist, Victor Castillo. In his latest paintings and drawings, Castillo illustrates an impressive balance between the conflicting extremes of juvenile innocence and macabre violence.
In his first Los Angeles exhibition, Castillo’s deftly painted subjects are usually children wearing eerie white masks that bring to mind classic horror films and childhood nightmares. The children interact with animals and each other in a surreal and sinister cartoon world where toys become weapons, and brutality is gleeful. They are often painted against rich black backgrounds, lit only by the flames below them, or at an ambiguous dusk/dawn before baroque landscapes.
Most of the characters in Castillo’s work have phallic, hot-dog shaped noses, comically suggesting Pinocchio. He also makes reference to contemporary culture, human error and vices, politics, and the steadily increasing bombardment by the media in our daily lives. A moral allegorist, Castillo tackles the subject of the production, consumption and digestion of violent media images with light-hearted grotesqueness, using juicy entrails and tortured cartoon characters in a style reminiscent of Bosch and Goya.
Castillo’s work has shown in Spain, Chile, Cuba, Argentina, Brazil, Japan, Germany, the United States, Canada, Belgium and Taiwan.
July 11 – August 8, 2009
Tues – Sat 12-6pm