Vincent Castaldi

Vincent Castaldi

Making art is, for me, about a sense of connection when I am enjoying the moment. Drawing, the movement of the oil pastel crayon, is what is most important, rather than what is appearing on the page; it’s the gesture of creating the pieces and the feeling of being in flow. This tends to happen most when I am working on an abstract piece.

In my day-to-day life, I make notes and drawings on small papers from which I create a collage that is the basis of my oil pastel drawings. The collage underlies and sometimes shows through the drawings. Typically, I work from dark color to light, applying an acrylic wash over the collage with the idea that I am pulling the image out, keeping what was of value, working over older things, conserving what existed before, adding new depth and texture. Frequently, I re-work older works, using them as the basis of new work, allowing the old work to show through, allowing transformation but keeping what came before.

Before beginning a piece, I generally have an idea of approach; am I creating something new or is the intention to go over an older piece and re-work it partially – or even entirely?

The process begins as mechanical: images, eroticism, beauty, figures in movement, contrasting light/dark against soft/bold, juxtapositions, textures, layering colors. Motion feels like thoughts, moving from what was there into abstraction. 

Some of my work has originated in feelings of being restrained, bound, seeking to free myself from resistance into liberation. There is an inherent tension in those contrasts and my art has typically been preoccupied with the idea of capturing contrast in motion. 

Motion evolves into a feeling of space, airiness and, in my current work, there is a sense of things floating, softening and cloudscapes. I capture sky feelings of floating, images seen in a dream, some are specific and some blur into obscurity. Much of my work is based in the figurative intended toward creating impressions of portraits, capturing the essence, look and beauty of the subject. Bodies, faces, music, figures in motion fascinate and challenge me to capture the push-pull tension of stillness and movement, and the moment when stillness becomes motion.

Here are a few examples of his work.