Imitating Stars

imitating stars | 1999

“Castillo’s subject is poverty. Recalling Baudelaire’s image of the modern artist, she is a ragpicker who scours salvage yards for the right cast-offs. (Not for nothing did she drop out of Yale to work as a drill press and lathe operator in an electrical parts factory in East Haven, Connecticut.) Castillo’s particular gift is to turn society’s detritus into cool and elegant assemblages that retain the objects’ original grittiness. Aesthetic environmentalism, if you will. But poverty also applies in that Castillo highlights the sheer materiality of her compositions by stripping away cultural associations — “not ideas but the thing itself,” as Wallace Stevens put it.”

 by Arden Reed, THE Magazine, August 1999

EXHIBITED | Conlon Siegal Contemporary, Santa Fe, New Mexico