Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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Synopsis

"Art Liberation Movement" is Mario Castillo’s personal manifesto, which appears on the artist’s website. The Chicano/Mexican artist who works from Chicago expresses in this statement his desire to liberate himself from "the aesthetic constraints imposed by the philosophies of the cultural status quo” and to reclaim, recover and recapitulate his artistic past. According to Castillo, he has decided to introduce reflective concerns into his artwork from his earlier tendencies and styles, and thus will show works together which have no apparent connection. He no longer wishes to engage in the stagnant process of ensuring that his work is unified and consistent. Thus, the artist will explore his interest in the fusion of cross-cultural styles. As a creator of "high art" installations in the 1960s and 1970s, Castillo mentions that he was criticized for being “too mainstream,” but, on the contrary, while working with his heritage he was criticized for being “too Mexican.” Unable to please everyone, he will create work merely as an artist does, out of necessity and mainly to please oneself.

Annotations

Born in Mexico, Chicago-based artist Mario Castillo received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA from Cal Arts in Valencia, California. His works are in distinguished collections such as the National Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C., the San Francisco Museum of Contemporary Art, and the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, among others. In addition to his production as an artist, Castillo is also full-time associate professor at Columbia College in Chicago, Illinois. Castillo is the son of Mexican folk artist María Enríquez de Allen, whose life and work is also documented in this archive (see doc. no. 867369 and doc. no. 1063662).

Researcher
Victor Alejandro Sorell, Gabrielle Toth
Team
Institute for Latino Studies, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, USA
Credit
Courtesy of the private archives of Mario E. Castillo, Chicago, IL