GLOBAL CONTEMPORARY ART LANDS ON FLORIDA'S GULFSHORE
By Fred Lake. Photography: Vandela Major
“ARTISTS SHOULD BE THE OXYGEN OF SOCIETY”
This quote is displayed as you enter the Aldo Castillo Gallery—a statement the founder often cites when he talks about contemporary art.
I love this quote,” says Aldo. “I’d like to claim it as my own, but it is by a Serbian contemporary artist, who also says ‘the function of the artist is to give awareness to the universe, to ask the right questions, to open the consciousness and to elevate the mind.”’
Words to contemplate, he says, when you look for art that impacts your life, home and business.
The Aldo Castillo Gallery, established in 1993 in Chicago, relocated to Florida’s Gulfshore in step with other businesses with a global perspective.
The gallery, with seven well-appointed art spaces, provides sophisticated art enthusiasts’ with access to well-established contemporary artists from all over the world. It is located at the Miromar Design Center, a premier destination in SW Florida for art and design.
Aldo’s gallery could not have arrived at a better time. “It’s no secret that Florida’s Gulfshore continues to attract sophisticated tastes from all across the U.S., punctuated by an ever-increasing number of international residents and younger generations,” he says.
These groups look for international contemporary design—modern architecture, streamlined home furnishings and new trends in interior design.
Contemporary art is of no exception. High-end art buyers are looking for established artists like those featured in the Aldo Castillo Gallery—artists who are selected for their strong contemporary styles.
Photos by James Prinz Photography
Courtesy of Lorna Marsh and Aldo Castillo Gallery
Sonnenschein Gallery/Albright Gallery
Durand Art Institute
By: Rebecca Goldberg and Michele Ihlanfeldt
Lorna Marsh was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1949. It was there that she began her formal training, which included private studio instruction with professors from the London Royal Academy of Art. Marsh later concluded her education at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Marsh is a figurative expressionist who blends symbolism, surrealism, and expressionism. She has evolved a unique mark making technique to create fresh images that illustrate the universal language of human beings. Marsh uses both her hands and no brushes; nothing lies between Marsh and her surface. This challenges the viewer to relinquish his or her cultural conditioning, to approach the art unfettered by social mores.
After seeing an exhibit of ancient Chinese scrolls at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum in 2013, Marsh was inspired to harness the discipline of traditional ink painting. The result is a series of images seemingly void of control yet achieved through the same degree of intention. The surfaces are comprised of collage and what Marsh refers to as mark within a mark. The porous quality of paper allows for the layering of freeform staining and decisive line.
Marsh’s Pen & Ink series explores the isolation of social relationships. In the gas mask paintings, the subject has chosen to be insulated in a stark environment, with the only stimulus coming from a golden cloud of collective thought. These gas mask drawings are reminiscent of popular images from science fiction and apocalyptical literature.
SOME OF THE QUIXOTIC SPIRIT OF RENÉ MAGRITTE,
THE LATE BELGIAN SURREALIST, MAY BE FOUND IN
CONCEPTUAL ARTIST SCOTT ASHLEY, WHOSE
WORK IS EXHIBITED AT THE ALDO CASTILLO
GALLERY IN THE MIROMAR DESIGN CENTER,
LOCATED IN ESTERO, FLORIDA.
The Apology, for instance, a sculpture depicting an improbably hinged knife, not only reflects Magritte’s distortion of reality but also his sense of humor. Similarly, Ashley’s image, Aldo Castillo says, also humorously stands for the times when a person might like to kill someone but wisely holds back for a multitude of reasons.
The work is somewhat characteristic of the visual play Ashley, a 40-year-old Chicagoan, likes to infuse into his art. “The knife is many things: a weapon, a domestic tool and can even be seen as a phallic symbol,” he suggests. “I feel the knife is a visual representation of an aggressive act, sexual or otherwise. And that, after the incident, one would want to retract: an apology for transgressions on another person.