Victor Castillo was born in Santiago, Chile in 1973. He began drawing obsessively at the age of five, inspired by the animations he saw on television, science fiction movies, and the illustrations on record covers such as Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”.
Following studies at the University of Art and Social Sciences (ARCIS) and the Catholic University of Chile, from which he was expelled, Victor joined the independent experimental art collective Caja Negra in Santiago, creating multimedia installations. In 2004 Victor moved to Barcelona, Spain, where he dedicated himself to painting and established his style with references to comics, graffiti, and old master paintings, particularly Goya’s Black Paintings after seeing them at the Prado Museum. Victor’s Explicit Lyrics exhibition with Iguapop Gallery in 2007 was a critical success with the national newspaper El País publishing a full-page article about his tragicomic vision titled The Triumph of Pop Surrealism. Victor’s first solo exhibition in the United States was with Roq La Rue in Seattle the following year, and in 2010 Victor moved to Los Angeles, California, where he currently lives and works.
Victor tells stories in his paintings. As if it were a contemporary chronicle, his work appropriates the narrative logic of illustrations for children’s stories, and the aesthetics of classic animations, to present us with allegories about cruelty, fear, rebellion, greed, indoctrination, violence, and other abuses of power that the artist sees being imposed worldwide. His colorful work has also been described as political poetry coming from the Latin American experience.
Victor Castillo is represented internationally by Isabel Croxatto Galeria in Chile. He has presented multiple solo shows with KP Projects | Merry Karnowsky Gallery in Los Angeles, Helium Cowboy in Hamburg, Jonathan Levine Gallery in New York City, and the seminal Iguapop Gallery in Barcelona, which closed in 2010. Among other galleries who have shown his work in Chile, Spain, USA, Germany, France, England, Italy, Belgium, Denmark, China, Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, and Mexico, Victor was featured in the traveling museum exhibition Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of High Fructose (USA, 2016–17), and in the Les Enfantes Terribles exhibition during the Lyon Biennale of Contemporary Art (France, 2011). Victor’s vital presence has been registered with Isabel Croxatto at international art fairs Ch.ACO Santiago, Istanbul Contemporary, Art Central Hong Kong, and ZONA MACO Mexico City; as well as in numerous newspapers, magazines, and publications worldwide.
Victor has created murals for the National Museum of Fine Arts (MNBA) and Centro Gabriela Mistral (GAM) in Santiago, Chile; the Museum of Modern Art in Chiloe; the Center for Contemporary Culture Barcelona (CCCB), Spain among other installations.