Joe Castro - Artist Statement:
When starting a collage, I often set out with a very specific concept or goal in mind - other times, it begins as playfully collecting images that speak to me for some reason and then putting them together to see what the visual conversation brings. I work on the floor on a large sheet of paper that I can later cut down (I don’t like to be confined by size). About halfway through, I start to realize where I want to go and I begin looking for more specific pieces. All selected images are hand cut with an xacto knife and dry adhered with a gel medium. I enjoy the challenge of limitation–fixed sizes, shapes and colors–of having to figure out how to take a specific collection of images and bring them together into a form that then takes on a life of it’s own. Mentally, moving the pieces of paper around is like playing a never ending game of chess with yourself that only ends when your opponent stops breathing. It usually takes me a couple of weeks to finish a collage.
I explore many themes, including dualism, injustice, modern life, the discarded past, devolution and the trappings of a society that’s becoming less and less humanistic, a culture obsessed with new technology and driven to consume at all costs - whatever’s on the mental menu that night, honestly. I take a great deal of inspiration from vintage movie posters–I like the idea of expressing an entire story through one collection of images.