Footage and photos by Frankenräver
THE ART OF ANDRE CASTRO
Last Friday, I had the pleasure of dropping in on the Longboard Living Artbox Show at 86.5 Nassau St. It was a gorgeous afternoon, supplanted by the equally gorgeous artwork of some happening artist, as peeps buzzed around like smoke dazed bees. As I waltzed through the door, I was greeted by sunny smiles from handsome longboarders, trippy sounds of psy-trance and a small pyramind of empty beer cans. But most of all, I was blown away by the stunning display of psychedelic art that covered the walls. Hand painted tees hung gaily alongside silkscreen printed shirt while a handpainted baby jumper dangled jauntily from a hanger. Damn…those guys don’t miss a beat! I had to find out who this amazing artist was, and was subsequently introduced to the adorably affable Andre Castro.
Born in Mexico City, Andre moved to Leon in 1987. After completing his studies in graphic design at La Salle University in 2005, Andre immersed himself in the local psy-trance scene where he created paintings and installations, working as a graphic designer for one year. In 2006, Castro moved to Canada, where he continues to carve out a successful niche for himself, expanding his portfolio to include flyers and illustration. Andre’s preferred medium is ink and markers, though he also works in acrylic, watercolours and airbrush paint. Ever the versatile experimentalist, he also dabbles in mixed media and sculpture. His style can best be described as visionary art mixed with psychedelia and pop influences.
Personally, I saw echoes of Carlos Castaneda’s shamanic voyages in the intricate loopiness of his designs. Andre revealed his biggest influences are Alex Grey and Canadian artist, Erin Loree. He explained that he took the best things he saw in Erin’s work and incorporated it into his style. It’s a technique that’s obviously working in his favour, judging from the number of awestruck visitors in attendance. In July 2007, Castro won first prize in Now magazine’s “Design the Box” contest. His supercool box was displayed at Sonic Boom record shop for two months. And it doesn’t stop there. This gifted artist was 1 of 16 to win a Steamwhistle Brewery contest for designing a skateboard deck in 2010.
Things took an interesting turn in 2009 when Andre met Ryan Rubin of Longboard Living. Since then, he has been working on the cartoon project for the shop, located in the heart of Kensington Market. Upcoming projects include a graffiti workshop and massive mural collaboration with some of Toronto’s hottest graffiti artists in June. Now that’s something I’m really looking forward to >>>
Andre’s custom designed tees are up for grabs at http://www.etsy.com/shop/CHINCHUNCHIN
Facebook page: facebook.com/CHINCHUNSHIRTS
For more info on Andre Castro, visit http://chinchunchin.blogspot.ca/
Copyright © 2012 Frankie Diamond. All rights reserved. Excerpts of less than 200 words may be published to another site, including a link back to the original article. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety and posted to another site without the express permission of the author.