Primary Tensions by Paulo Castro

Jun 1, 2017 | Art & Chronicles

by Katherine Chacón

The Venezuelan artist Paulo Castro (Palmira, Colombia, 1974) has developed a language based on his use of lines and colors as essential elements in the creation of an aesthetic space of powerful tension.

This research about the spatial dynamics that move on the canvas, painterly by nature, goes hand in hand with the search for materials and the creation of techniques that have allowed to broaden and deepen the grammar of his proposal.

The wynwood times Paulo Castro

The permanent experimentation with materials and the quality of representing the action of two opposing forces led Castro, in the first stages of his work, to use rubber bands and synthetic fiber to create the strands across the canvas, a characteristic element of his work.

Looking for a relationship between the plastic and the real tension that create a physical dynamic in his pieces, the artist included plastic-coated fiberglass as material in his recent work which perseveres and reinforces the specific tensions, to guarantee achieving his expressive goal.

This has been a significant achievement due to the total freedom of chromatic choice. The plastic-coated fiberglass is white (unlike others, previously used, that came in standard colors). Apart from white, Castro demonstrates his immense potential as a colorist, which it is at the heart of his work. His purpose is to present a deep and saturated color palette, likely to be “dug” in a sort of “color archaeology”. He gets these results by overlaying the canvas on a wooden surface previously painted just like the cloth will be. He creates a background that is there, but none sees, so that color perception in the plane is bridged in a subliminal level.


The enhanced colors expand throughout the three dimensions since intensity affects volume. The overlapping of the tension strands seems to “keep” those dimensions and “attaches” them visually. Castro lets on pinpoints of color in the interwoven of the lines of force, highlighting a dynamic that eventually rises as a powerful game of tension, accentuated by primary shades of color and the neutral scales.

Paulo Castro’s work, as he pointed out, does not escape from psychological, social, or even political issues. In a world that gets more troubled and unsafe day by day, these primary tensions lead to the manifestation of the global psyche that is torn between countless questions, harassments, expectations, fears, displacements, and efforts.


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