When we think of putting one’s ‘blood, sweat and tears’ into something, it’s usually intended figuratively. Vincent Castiglia, though, takes the phrase to an entirely literal and ethereal level. Creating pieces that draw from his own blood, he gives life to the subjects he imagines. They are no longer renderings on paper, but beings that possess and manifest a human lifeforce.
The Dark Art Emporium in Long Beach, California, is offering the public a rare opportunity to see Castiglia’s art up close. Recently, the gallery held an opening reception for the exhibit titled “Autopsy of the Soul” & Retrospective, which features more than 20 works. To lay eyes on the pieces was, like the art, surreal.
Vincent Castiglia is a painter and tattoo artist who has been perfecting his craft for two decades. His art has helped him revive from a past shrouded in pain experienced during childhood and for years after. Refusing to become the victim of his demons, he instead tapped into a fountain of creativity that has yet to cease flowing.
Both the new series “Autopsy of the Soul” and his past creations spotlight themes of life and death, with traces of occultism and magic symbolism. The works expose human anatomy in provocative ways. As I was taking it all in, I couldn’t help but be astounded that an individual’s sanguine fluid stained the canvas.
Pieces, such as “Enfold,” depicting two bodies entwined in an embrace, were a wonder to behold. A group of paintings portraying various sigils was done on Virgin Parchment — consecrated animal skin used for magical operations. The sculpture “Blood from a Stone” had the red liquid dripping down its face.
Some may wonder how Castiglia transfers his blood from vein to paper. Initially, he would bleed himself with a lancet and collect the fluid. Now, the process is done intravenously with the aid of a nurse.
It’s difficult to capture in words the beauty and allure exuded in Vincent Castiglia’s creations. There’s a balance between the sacred and profane, and his art showcases a form of macabre ingenuity that is mesmerizing.
The exhibit will be up until July 6th and is not one to be missed. Visit The Dark Art Emporium official website for more information and to obtain limited edition prints signed in the artist’s blood.
To find out more about the artist, check out Vincent Castiglia’s official website.