Bradley Castellanos’ work achieves the seamless combination of large-format photography and the tumultuous energy of abstract painting. His intricately cut photo-collages are layered with lushly-colored abstract oil paint and pristine resin. As Dan Cameron states, “Castellanos has developed a complex technique of combining transparent and opaque layers so that any overlap is nearly impossible to pin down, making one stop to wonder why nobody has previously set out to accomplish a
similar feat of seamlessly combining two media that are typically perceived as being at odds with each other. Despite the paintings’ occasionally toxic-seeming appearance, this balance of bravura brushwork and photographic print seems to be almost ecological in its careful consideration toward the separate claims of each competing system.”
Castellanos’ urban landscapes threaten to contaminate and consume all life. They are dead ends of decay, waste and desolation, yet radiate with an unnatural beauty that transcends their grim circumstances. Even pastoral landscapes are dark dreams, undermined by devastation, loneliness and despair. This collision of abstraction and realism, paint and photography occur in a toxic environment that both seduces and repels.
A recent graduate of The School of Visual Arts Master’s program, Castellanos’ work has already been exhibited at PS 1 and in group shows at Nicole Klagsbrun and Pavel Zoubok. Last summer Dan Cameron selected Castellanos for the HangArt-7, a prestigious exhibition in Salzburg, Austria of seven New York emerging artists which was on view from July 8 through August 27, 2006. In addition to recent press coverage in the September issue of Gotham, a painting from Bradley Castellanos’ Deadland series will be published in an upcoming issue of Harper’s.