Artist Spotlight: Alex Castro / by Louis Holstein

This month's artist spotlight is a genuine joy for me to share. Alex Castro became my cousin on March 10th, 2013. No this wasn't the day he was born, it was the day that I married his cousin. Over the years (I knew Alex prior to my wedding), I have watched Alex grow into the young man that he is today. On a much more fun level, I have also watched him become the graphic artist that he is today. 

Alex currently works at The Verge, "an ambitious multimedia effort founded in 2011 to examine how technology will change life in the future for a massive mainstream audience," as an illustrator. (Just writing that puts a smile on my face, I'm so proud of him!) So all the love aside, let's talk art! 

This was for The Verge, an article about restaurants that are designed to be instagrammable. 

I have to admit, initially, I was not a huge fan of Alex's art. There was something very distorted and even abrasive that I just couldn't get behind. It's not that his work was bad, just not my preference. However, as Alex has grown, his art has truly become a cohesive style. It's not a jumbled up mess, but an intentional explosion of color and symbols. There is something ironic about his graphics. It's as if he is sticking his tongue out while still saying something profound. I have featured several pieces of his that he has done for The Verge. I'm fully aware it's his job to give color to the article that he is illustrating for, but in many cases, his work speaks for itself.

Beyond working for The Verge, Alex's personal work is just a fun. Below is one of my favorite pieces of his. He speaks to a generation who embraces their independence (the text which includes "basic af" shows he is speaking to a specific generation) but also critiques this generation in their unawareness of reality (the image of the virtual reality headset). We may "figure out how to live," but through what lens are we looking to find the answer? This is an easy example of how profound his use of color, symbol, and text can be.

One of his latest projects was developing the album cover for Christian Rap Artist, KB (see below). While this seems to be a little detour from his usual style, one can still see the image is loaded with symbolic imagery that is played out with each track on the record. Alex hit another home run. I expect nothing but great things from this young creative. You check out more of his work here and his Instagram here. Keeping up with this guy will not be a bad decision, I promise. 

Alex's latest project was the cover of Christian Rap Artist, KB's latest album, Today We Rebel.