Like the Land of Oz in the classic Judy Garland film, the American Dream never was the promised world of fantasy and happiness.
The Yellow Brick Road by Víctor Castillo, presented by Isabel Croxatto Galería in Santiago, is the artist's latest project. The exhibition follows his previous solo show, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, presented in Los Angeles at Val Kilmer's HelMel Studios earlier in 2021.
Comprising recent acrylic on canvas and vintage movie lobby cards from Castillo's personal collection, as well as a series of studio sketches for some of his best-known artworks, The Yellow Brick Road follows the path to capitalism and the 1940s-1950s American Dream that, as the Land of Oz in the classic Judy Garland film, never was the promised world of fantasies and happiness.
With his unique and recognisable aesthetic that combines the vintage animation cartoons style with ironic and dark undertones, and through colourful and shiny paintings, Castillo subverts characters from the Golden Era of Hollywood and American animation, turning the industry's seductive tools against it and lashing out a harsh but gleeful critique of the system.
As the art critic Sharon Mizota points out, 'Victor Castillo is out for revenge. His latest body of work takes Hollywood as its target, revisiting and warping iconic scenes from classic films through the lens of an equally iconic style. For the Chilean born artist, it is a way of both claiming and getting back at the American pop culture that infused his childhood. By extension, it advances a pointed critique of American imperialism and the lies that support it.'