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Deborah Castillo

This Week’s Must See Events: Elevator GIFs and Dystopias

by Paddy Johnson on May 30, 2017
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We’re looking at a pretty light week for events coming out of Memorial Day weekend. The good news here is that while there maybe fewer openings and talks to attend there’s no shortage of quality. Start your week today by visiting the SVA Computer Art thesis show and leave time on Wednesday for a performance by M6 of Meredeth Monk compositions. Thursday we’ll be heading out to the Museum of Moving Image to check out their new GIF commissions and panel discussion and Friday we’re heading to 470 Vanderbilt for an all woman art show. Saturday Cary Hulbert will take a stab at predicting the future at Ortega y Gasset Projects and Sunday we’ve got a day of music by John Zorn at the Jewish Museum.

Long story short, for a light week, we’ve got plenty to do. We expect to see you around!

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Pulp Friction: Deborah Castillo on Her Politically-Charged Fotonovelas

by Michael Anthony Farley on April 21, 2017
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Deborah Castillo wears a lot of hats as an artist. And wigs. Originally from Venezuela, Castillo often blurs the lines between performance, video, photography, publications and even jewelry making. What binds these endeavors together is a sharp, critical wit (usually trained on political institutions) and flair for the dramatic. That might manifest as necklaces in the shape of misogynist slurs in Spanish or over-the-top fictional narratives involving art world kidnappings and embezzlement.

I met Castillo (who now lives in Bushwick) at her book launch at Mexico City’s Aeromoto, an artist-run library of contemporary art and artist books. She was celebrating the release of “La Dama Profunda / Profoundly Yours”, the third installment of her “Dramas Museísticos” series. I was immediately drawn to the format of the publications—they’re fotonovelas, comic-book like novels that use photography instead of illustrations. They were a popular form of mass media in Latin America, but are less known in the US. They’re fun and extremely approachable—even though Spanish is my second language, they’re easy reading, and the third book contains an English version of the story. 

The books follow the soap-opera-like story of Castillo’s alter ego Profunda Mol, an ambitious woman who social climbs through the art world of her native Venezuela. Profunda navigates (often through seduction) a world of corrupt officials, along the way becoming the Venezuelan Minister of Culture, an Ambassador to the United States, and ultimately Donald Trump’s fourth wife.

We talked about fotonovelas, sexuality in the art world, and the crappy political climate.

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This Weeks Must-See Events: Election 2016 Edition

by Paddy Johnson on November 7, 2016
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Expect the next three days to be filled with election news. Events are largely election related, and thus I will be wearing pant suits the whole god damned time. (Go Hillary!) Once that’s passed, there’s a whack of openings in Chelsea Thursday—Andreas Gursky, Paul McCarthy, etc—a must-see ceramics inspired show at Present Company in Bushwick Friday, and Smack Mellon’s 20th Anniversary exhibition Saturday. In short, nothing, not even an election, disrupts the art world.

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