Green Room

NYC exhibit features works painted with artist’s own blood

posted at 3:53 pm on October 13, 2012 by

Like many other artists, New York painter Vincent Castiglia puts his lifeblood into his work. Unlike most other painters, he does this in the most literal sense of the term.

Castiglia’s latest exhibit, Resurrection, which opened last week and will run through October, is comprised of works of the past decade, all of which used the artist’s blood as an art medium. Blood, the artist explains in this Reuters video, contains iron oxide, a pigment found in many traditional paints and that occurs naturally in iron ore and rust.

But since all blood contains iron oxide, the question of why the artist uses human blood—and more specifically his human blood—arises. His response is that it satisfies a “need to connect with my work on the most intimate level.”

Castiglia begins with preliminary sketches in ink, typical of most painters. Then, before embarking on the final canvas, he extracts just enough blood in the privacy of his studio. The finished works are predictably rust-colored images and most often depict human bodies in some stage of decay.

An example from the exhibit is Feeding, which depicts a mother with decaying legs in a wheelchair, gazing at an infant who is nursing at her breast. Castiglia maintains that the work is meant to express the fragility of life and the hope and drive that can still accompany it. A related theme of his work as a whole, which permeates the Resurrection exhibit, is life’s transience and a harmony between life and death that he professes to see.

Castiglia’s works have appeared in popular media. One of his paintings was the basis of a promotional poster for a made-for-TV slasher film called Savage County. Another was used as album cover art for Swiss heavy metal band Triptykon’s debut Eparistera Daimones.

Castiglia bristles, however, at the notion that his art is gimmicky:

My response would be to really take a look at the content of the work, which overshadows what it’s made from, I think. In order for something to be a gimmick, it really would have to lack substance.

Larger, more detailed paintings can take more than three months to complete. The works range in price from $950 to $26,000.

Castiglia is not the first artist to gives his work (how shall one say?) a “human touch.” One of the best-known, if controversial, practitioners of this school is Andre Serrano, whose Piss Christ uses the artist’s urine to desecrate a Crucifix. The incendiary work is also currently on display at a New York gallery. Another work in this style is Andrew Krasnow’s Palette, which features a contour map of the United States made of human skin.

Related Articles

Follow me on Twitter or join me at Facebook. You can also reach me at [email protected].

Recently in the Green Room:

Blowback

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

as long as no more than 16 oz it’s ok. now of course anybody viewing them will need a hazmat suit…small price to pay to view true art.

teejk on October 13, 2012 at 4:02 PM

as long as no more than 16 oz it’s ok

Nicely done, teejk.

Howard Portnoy on October 13, 2012 at 4:12 PM

Castiglia bristles, however, at the notion that his art is gimmicky

He can bristle all he wants but it’s still a gimmick. And I’ve seen his work. His blood would be put to better use if he donated it at the local Red Cross.

lynncgb on October 13, 2012 at 7:34 PM

His blood would be put to better use if he donated it at the local Red Cross.

lynncgb on October 13, 2012 at 7:34 PM

…speaking of which, it’ll be time soon enough for me to go and get impaled at my local RC. Thanks for reminding me.

MelonCollie on October 13, 2012 at 10:41 PM

yucky.

cheetah2 on October 13, 2012 at 11:07 PM

Someone should hire him to do several billboards to be consigned in two days.

db on October 15, 2012 at 10:11 AM


HotAir — Politics, Culture, Media, 2017, Breaking News from a conservative viewpoint

Politico: Has the SPLC lost its way?

John Sexton Jun 28, 2017 3:01 PM
Top Pick

“The organization has always tried to find ways to milk money out of the public…”

Trump legal team backing away from Comey complaint?

Ed Morrissey Jun 28, 2017 2:31 PM
Top Pick

De-escalation?

Time to get up and go to work, sir

CNN gets glum, defensive after resignations

John Sexton Jun 28, 2017 1:01 PM

“If Jeff lit himself on fire, it wouldn’t appease the pro-Trump media.”

Hmmm: FBI probing Russia-based anti-virus firm?

Ed Morrissey Jun 28, 2017 12:31 PM

“I wouldn’t put their stuff on my computer if you paid me.”

He works hard for the money…

It’s not a slippery slope. It’s a freaking avalanche.

Nuts.

Showdown: Sarah Palin vs the New York Times

Jazz Shaw Jun 28, 2017 9:21 AM

Defamation

Credit where creditor’s due?

More flash than bang, but a very bad sign

“Felix was out on bond after threatening another public servant and has a history of making threats.”

Chaffetz: House needs housing allowances?

Ed Morrissey Jun 27, 2017 8:41 PM

“There are dozens upon dozens of members living in their offices, and I don’t know how healthy that is long term.”

“This isn’t going to get a lot cheaper, it can’t, it won’t.”

“…what we failed to achieve with votes, we would do with weapons.”

“[S]o dumb it’s amazing we even have to have the conversation.”

“It was not necessary.”

“You’re inflaming everyone right here right now with those words!”

“Trump’s people said, ‘We’ll be writing the speech that the President’s Audio-Animatronic figure will be saying.'”

Excuses, excuses.

Not really a “kill all the lawyers” scenario

4 pm ET!

“it has not taken serious steps to end its own complicity in trafficking, including forced laborers from North Korea.”

Currently doing a search for “good international trade lawyers”

Ransomware attack spreads through Europe

John Sexton Jun 27, 2017 1:01 PM

“A massive ransomware campaign is currently unfolding worldwide.”

At least their address rarely changes

It just keeps on happening

“Trump is good for business right now.”

Start spreading the news…

“Now it’s time for the next step.”

A “cryptic” warning to Bashar al-Assad?

Jazz Shaw Jun 27, 2017 8:01 AM

The three strikes rule may be in effect

CNN reporters resign over retracted story

John Sexton Jun 26, 2017 9:21 PM

“The individuals all stated that they accepted responsibility and wanted to resign.”