Thursday, November 1, 2012

Get to know Polaris Castillo : A Whimsical Artist with Vision!

Get to know Polaris Castillo : A Whimsical Artist with Vision!

     Polaris Castillo is an artist that hails from the Los Angeles area.  His artistry lies within the whimsical, romantic, and with a touch of surrealism. He balances all these complexities within a dream like world with a thought provoking message that only could be told through his artistic vision. 
     What you have seen above is his teaser trailer for "BalloonHead." BalloonHead is his latest public art installation approach to showcasing his art outside the gallery setting, and bringing his message that we work at breakneck speed in a mundane existence.  The colorful balloons represent the way out towards freedom from this existence. It is only then that we can finally take a breather and enjoy all the many colors that life has to offer, and let the mundane routines of the past fall by the wayside. 
     What makes Polaris Castillo a budding Iconoclast, and why I admire him as a fellow creative is simple. Polaris creates art that has a concept, is thought provoking, he treats art as an "artist, artist" rather than as an afterthought, and that he is fearless in stepping outside the conventional box that some artist, galleries, and museums can fall prey to. 
     Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing the artist himself, for a short Q and A. Read on to get to know a bit of how he thinks, and see more of his visionary work. 

     Q and A with Polaris Castillo : 

Q:  How did the concept of BalloonHead come about? What message were you hoping to

A: BalloonHead first came about as a Christmas gift for someone special, it didn't have any meaning behind it and was simply a cool looking character that combined my love for drawing men in business suits without heads and my friend's love of balloons. Soon after we decided he looked too cool to just leave it at that and I slowly started putting together a series of BalloonHead pieces without really realizing it. I started giving him meaning, things to stand for and everything he conveyed had a purpose.
Naturally I focused on the balloons, the colours, the nature of them and what that does to people. Balloons are pretty symbiotic with festivities, happiness and a good time. They're also colourful and child-like which remind us of freedom, nostalgia, or a need to break free. So he started becoming all these ideas in his physical form, while his black and white suit represented the mundane toxic world that he broke away from. Maybe he was a business man who just had enough one day.
To my surprise the character had a lot of impact at an art show I put together with several of said pieces and it made me think, maybe I'm on to something special here. It was something i had never quite received before with any work I had ever done.
Q: What is the most surprising response to one of the times where you have put up BalloonHead for display ?
A: There's been several surprises, I never know what to expect. One time a wannabe gang-banger who was seemingly on drugs believed that BalloonHead was the symbol of some gang who had decapitated some people and dropped them off in Hollywood. He wanted to put up a fight with the mannequin and seriously thought it was real, and that it was ignoring him.
:Art as we know is very subjective, and people interpret it differently based on their own life experiences. What have you learned about people or the human condition through their interpretations of BalloonHead? Did their reactions actually reflect your meaning for Balloonhead without them knowing?
A: A lot of people are curious and simply ask what it means. I don't like to stand tall and say, "It's up to you to interpret it" so i provide my meaning behind it & a lot of times they feel the same way. Other times they think too literally, and call him an 'air head' or say, 'well, he has no head so something must be missing'. I guess you can say that I'm trying to make people think, but the majority simply want answers handed to them. I don't think art is meant to do that. But if you're personally going to ask me, I'll answer.
Q: I agree. Looking at your drawings, sketches, and balloonhead I get a sense of surrealism and poetry . Would you consider yourself as a poetic surrealist?
A: I'm a big romantic. I love the romance that the beauty in a simple piece of art can do to a viewer, and the interaction between them. With that simple a form, there's so many different, fresh ways that an artist can play with a canvas (and that canvas can be anything) to spark certain reactions. I'm also a big dreamer so I love capturing the surreal with an emotionally grounded fish net. So I would have to say yes. I think I'm someone that is big on meaning and ideas, I believe art should always have something to say. When all a picture says is "Look at me, I'm pretty" it's instantly not as attractive under the surface. I think a true artist has a lot more to say than that.
Q: You touched on that you like to express ideas and meanings through whimsical dream like visuals. What initially attracted you to this style of art? What is "Polaris's" vision for this style of art?
A: I'm honestly not quite sure how it all came together. I guess it's a process of growing and experimenting as with anything else. I've always thought I only used a pencil and a paper and without realizing it, it slowly became a much more mixed conjunction of mediums. I think it also depends on what you're trying to say, and what would be the best way to project that.
Q: Through all the experimenting, ideas, mediums that have brought you to this point. What is the one that you think is the most important for anyone thinking about a career as an artist to keep in mind?
A: With a good vision & loud voice in your heart, you could work with sticks & stones and still find a way to say what you want to say.

Be sure to catch Castillo's upcoming screen show for "BalloonHead" on November 18th (More details below):

Polaris Castillo's Official Website:
Follow Him on Twitter: @PolarisCastillo

 Polaris Castillo's artwork:
Let Go
Year: 2011
Medium: graphite and colour pencil on bristol vellum

Let's sing it 
Year: 2012
Medium: graphite and watercolour on bristol vellum

Just Remember to Fall in Love
Year: 2012
Medium: graphite and watercolour on bristol vellum
"Introducing: BalloonHead" a public art installation short documentary"

Iconoclast Quote of the Day: One of Castillo's favorite quotes:
One day it will have to be officially admitted that what we have christened reality is an even greater illusion than the world of dreams.- Salvador Dalí

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