Visual Expression

Andrea Castro’s Portraits Toe the Line Between Figurative and Realist Art

‘I still feel the need to do something very “detailed” and at the same time I have the urge to destroy it,’ Spain-based visual artist, Andrea Castro told us about the process of her paintings.

Dwelling somewhere between expressionist and realistic styles, Andrea’s oil paintings pair detailed portraits, with broad and free strokes layered on top. The mood and sentiment conveyed are undeniable, as she aims to connect her abstract brushwork with the emotions and stories of the characters she creates.

I'm more confident with confetti on
Sweet chaotic memories
As if I'm going to listen
‘I’ll get that fine expression or achieve a realistic face, but then I have to start “destroying” it by adding texture and strokes, so in some ways that is the most difficult part of the whole process,’ Andrea explained to us. ‘Also its difficult knowing when to stop.’

We asked Andrea more about her process.

The Plus: Where does your inspiration come from?
Andrea Castro:
I’m mostly inspired by my daily life and how I see people interact with each other, that’s where a lot of ideas come from. There are a lot of artists that I love and inspire me. For example, I really like Egon Schiele’s and Gustav Klimt’s drawings (I must say even more than their paintings!). I recently discovered Jane Howarth’s work with dead animals and I find it fascinating. I’m also in love with Liu Chenyang’s paintings and stories.

TP: Are the portraits based on real people?
Yes and no. I mean, obviously they are real people but I don’t know them and I like it that way. I just use the portrait as a medium to express what I like, which is mostly related to psychology and how people’s emotions work individually and as a collective.

Determinations and dreams
The possibilities
TP: Is there a painting you are most proud of?
Hard question! I have a love-hate relationship with most of my paintings. Sometimes I love them, other times I totally hate them. This happens a lot while I’m creating a new piece. Usually when I’m finished I’m proud of the product but that doesn’t normally last long. I’m especially proud of “listen to me”, a painting I did back in 2012 and “unsaid”, a recent painting I did this past March.

TP: What are you working on at the moment?
Right now I’m working on 4 paintings. Two of them are giving me a hard time because I can’t see how to finish them. I also have a self-portrait to continue, but I discovered I don’t really like to paint myself so it’s taking a long time.

The ugliness of not being able to speak out
Exited and agitated are not the same