Activate: Market Street Featured Artist Gerardo Castro

Activate: Market Street 7

Gerardo Castro
Curated by Jo-El Lopez
September 5th – October 10th
@85 Market Street

The works in this series created through the use of fire and branding, provide a body of work that pushes its limits by using minimal materials; work that enables a connection to history, a courageous confrontation of meaning and myth. The works in this series are branded with branding irons, bolts, chains, nails and various metal objects, as to suggest a “primitive” magical transformation, a process of burning messages encoded with meaning and history. In the branding drawings, sacred symbols (signs), appear artistic as well as mystical- aesthetically compelling, multi-layered, encoded with meaning and beautiful symmetry. Images strongly influenced by Castro’s knowledge of indigenous cultures and Afro-Cuban religions: a belief in a Divine power and a direct connection to that Supreme force. Castro uses ideograms, sacred symbols, found in these belief systems to serve as a catalyst for manifestations: ideograms to call down the spirit to motivate forces into action; a direct connection to nature itself by using the stars, moon, sun to communicate with celestial beings; graphic symbols that represent the identification of a series of supernatural phenomena.

Gerardo Castro received his MFA from Pratt Institute-1996, Castro taught as an Adjunct Professor at the New Jersey City University, NJ. Castro has exhibited in: Folsom Gallery San Francisco CA, Jadite Gallery NY. Romancing the Gods Taller Boricua, NY, Paisajes Tóxicas- Biblioteca Nacional- Havana, Cuba; The Spiritual Heart, Student Union Gallery, New Jersey City University and Summer Blues Theo Ganz Gallery, Beacon NY; SOMArts Cultural Center, San Francisco, CA and Space Create, Newburgh, NY. Castro’s work was also part of the Past, Present Pa’ Lante traveling exhibition with exhibitions at La Casona Cultural Center, Humacao, P.R. and the Museum of the History of Ponce, P.R. Castro exhibits as part of the “We Are You Project Traveling Exhibition” (WAYP) utilizing the arts to examine Latino identity, creativity, immigration and current survival issues confronting Ibero-Americans both nationally and internationally in the 21st Century. In October 2015, Castro has a solo exhibit, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Castro lives in Newburgh, NY where he organizes the yearly Newburgh Open Studios tour, now in its 5h year. Castro also organizes and curates The Lightbulb Project 2012/2013, a public art project that included 84 artists. In 2014, he curated 54 artists in Art About Water; part art exhibition, part community awareness to bring attention to the importance of water.