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Looking at our contemporary art world, we may find an overbundance of conceptual and abstact personas, constantly creating disruptions and discontinuity with our sacred past. Guglielmo Castelli is one of those painters who works countercurrently, focusing on a variety of interesting aspects surrounding both a meticulous understanding of ancient truths, and a methodical and figurative approach to painting.

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Born in 1987, in Turin, Guglielmo Castelli has been receiving more and more attention from the art world ever since, in 2016, he was listed in the top 10 most influential under-30 artists. His research stands as the result of a long process, which saw the artist experimenting within the theatrical world, glancing at the complexity of cinematography and feeling compliant towards fashion, before finally falling in love with the pureness of the act of painting. 

     Guglielmo Castelli, Discombombulate, 2019. Mixed media on canvas.

In his works we may find a sense of transiency and instability, a fragility of sorts, an unbearable fluidity which creates both a relation with reality and a feeling of a magical and enigmatic world, in which the subjects intertwine with each other while continuously merging and transforming into one another. Gugliemo Castelli creates in the viewer a feeling of subtle nostalgia, of melancholy, a mixture of feelings that enable the viewer to understand the brittleness of the world we live in, to think about the fragile existence of the objects and subjects that surround us during our everyday life.


    Guglielmo Castelli, Cano, 2018. Oil on canvas.


The aesthetic we may find in Castelli’s paintings is strongly influenced by the artist’s fondness towards figurativeness, by the painter’s necessity to relate to the subjects that are being portrayed, and by his choice to do it through the domestication of the immense variety of possibilities that can be found in a figurative approach to the artistic matter. A process that begins with a methodical representative scheme, which is then to be lost and abandoned in favour of the accomplishment of a somewhat new figuration, which resembles a form of misleading genetic transposition. 

        Guglielmo Castelli, The Disobedience, 2019. Mixed media on canvas.


Regarding Guglielmo Castelli’s subjects, it is quite intuitive to discover within them a connection with the past, with its authenticity and with its stillness. In a fast-forward moving society, the artist feels we have lost our time to glance at things, which is a key element in the development of  a more profound understanding. In Castelli’s canvases, the viewer finds his time to rediscover his intimacy, detaching from the acceleration of our contemporary society, and letting go the harmonic and slow rhythm of a past and lost romantic aesthetic. “It is often the past that triggers a sense of belonging”; we must all, nowadays, understand that we are often forced to live under the stress of speed and acceleration, without ever being allowed to take our time and look back to our past greatness and achieve a higher state of consciousness. “The exploration of an intimate, necessary time, requires souls that, perhaps today, are no longer in fashion or there are few well hidden”.

Guglielmo Castelli is a living example of what it means to be courageous and continuative within today's figurative scenario, constantly painting and researching ways to keep us connected with our lost and forgotten past. Because, as the artist states himself: “you need to know how to continue, everyone is good at starting”

     Guglielmo Castelli, About Today, 2019. Oil on canvas.


Cover image: Guglielmo Castelli, Cano, 2018. Oil on canvas

Written by Mario Rodolfo Silva

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