South Florida-based artist Francesco Lo Castro employs unorthodox painting techniques that involve the intricate layering of pigment and resin to achieve a heightened sense of dimension and depth. What at first glance appears to be the result of countless hours spent with graphic design software is revealed by closer examination to be meticulously handcrafted combinations of acrylic, spray paint, epoxy, and even gold leaf applied on varied surfaces. These colorful compositions depict a kaleidoscopic vision, dense with movement and a combination of explosiveness and strict order, vibrancy, and dreaminess, power and release.
Accompanying sculpture, photography and video animations explore a further imagining of the oeuvre as documentation of fluid identities in a changing society, perched between the tangible and the virtual. Feeling frenetic and alive, these bright and shifting allegorical constructs present fleeting moments of harmony and dissonance as an immersive experience and a narrative that addresses social order within cosmic chaos, a mutation within the natural sequence.
Reminiscent of man’s interplay with architecture and ubiquitous societal networks, space is experienced on macro and micro levels. As environment and landscape are examined through multiple, simultaneous perspectives, a link between physical reality and its hidden structures is exposed and questions that probe humanity’s expanding emotional vernacular in the face of accelerating existential progression are addressed.
A long-held interest in safety design of public institutions, mainly hospitals and its palliative care units, continues to inform Lo Castro's aesthetic intent. Like a silent hand, neutral interiors, furniture, healthcare instruments and signage aim to act in a soothing, minimal and non-intrusive way without compromising the efficiency of form and function. A further understanding of this peculiar mode of interaction and communication through common visual markers materializes in streamlined abstractions with a narrow focus on the meaning and definition of safety and protection in Lo Castro's work.
While suspended between certainty and delusion in the face of unavoidable truths, at the most critical stages of life, words fail and an urgent expression of communion is forged. That is the territory Lo Castro mines, expanding on the thought process initiated by previous work with an increasingly crystallized approach that continues to flesh out a meditative and universal language, intent on promoting cross-cultural communication and the furthering of applied aesthetics.
Francesco Lo Castro was born in Catania, Italy in 1976, raised in Germany, and transplanted to South Florida during high school, where he became immersed in the local graffiti and punk/hardcore music scenes of the early 90’s. Fueled by a strong family-instilled work ethic and the do-it-yourself attitude of the underground youth movement, he quickly found a foothold in the Arts as a prolific painter and independent curator. He’s the founder of Pop Art Studios a creative services agency and launch pad for all projects under the LOCASTRO moniker.
In 2006, he curated the Art Basel week Exhibition at the Art Center/ South Florida, Miami Beach, which marked the first New Contemporary showcase to be sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, and with over 40,000 visitors set the institution’s highest attendance record to date. He is also co-founder of the 2008 VANGUARD Art Fair, which merged with AQUA Art Fair the year after, establishing the first expo of its kind to emphasize emerging trends in specific New Contemporary movements of the time.
Francesco Lo Castro’s work has been exhibited internationally and featured in numerous publications. He is listed among the creatives that helped forge the South Florida art community in the definitive books ‘Miami Contemporary Artists,’ released by Schiffer Publishing in 2007, and ‘100+ Degrees In The Shade: A Survey of South Florida Art,’ released by [NAME] publications in 2015.