an exhilarating snapshot of today

James Castle (1899-1977) 

Castle was born in Idaho deaf and developed few skills of sign, reading or writing. unknown to him his work paralleled development of art in the 20th century. Most interesting to me is his use of found materials and familiar subject matter. Often his works employ old packaging as canvas and saliva with soot as medium. In 2006 I had the pleasure of seeing a small collection at MUSE gallery in Jackson Hole wyoming. The exhibit consisted of kinetic cardboard constructions of birds reminiscent of Picasso’s collage work (not unlike the guitar series @ MoMA early 2011) and small mixed media works with human figures including drawers and knobs for features. His work as I saw it was parochial and aggressive, evoking sensations of Castles own existence. If ever given the chance I highly recommend seeing the work of James Castle in person.

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