Marianne Cooper-vd Veen
Interview With Kevin Castle, Master Of Binaural_art
Impressed by his dreamlike, mystical and spiritual paintings, I was dying to interview Kevin Castle and ask him all about his stunning artwork. This extremely talented 27 year old painter resides in both Mexico and the Bay Area of California (USA) and I was lucky enough to have a moment of his time and get answers to my burning questions!
How old were you when you started?
Since I was a kid I liked painting and drawing but about 5 years ago I started making a living as an artist.
Looking at your work it's quite variable and goes from abstract “intergalactic” work to concrete work with boats, seascapes, portraits and furthermore animals. Can you tell me more about your style/technique and where you get your inspiration from?
Years ago I started with realistic drawings. Realistic drawings can't have “mistakes”, they need to be exact and have all the right lines. Then at one point I was tired of being exact, I grabbed some coloring pens and started making “mistakes” on purpose. It felt liberating to express myself in that way and I started to discover what more I had in store. I found out that I have an extraordinary imagination flow and that working on things like the cosmos, the universe, magic, mystery, wizards and “the powers” give me energy. Vibrations, movement, geometry, it all fascinates me. I call it Binaural art. I like to use a lot of color. Sometimes I imagine, when I start a new painting on a white canvas, that it's already a painting that I have to erase to discover what's underneath. These paintings grow out of nothing, while with other paintings like the seascapes I use references.
What kind of painting/drawing materials do you like to use? It varies. For some drawings I use regular ballpoint pens and I must add to that that it's really difficult to get yellow ballpoint pens. When I started working with paint I used oil paint but later on I found out that I like working with acrylic paint better. My favorite brands are Amsterdam acrylic of Royal Talens and Liquitex.
Do you have any painters that you look up to and inspire you?
Yes! First off I am a fan of John Pitre, I think he's from Hawaii. It's really good. And also Jonathan Solter. Their fantasy artwork is sublime. It would love to collaborate with both of them! Besides those two, Fabián Jiménez is also a huge inspiration to me. He's actually one of my friends and I love working with him.
Do you have a favorite color?
I do but it doesn't really have anything to do with painting though. My favorite color is black. It's elegant. It's the absence of color.
Do you have special rituals you do before/during drawing/painting?
Absolutely. I like to create my own atmosphere. Music, incense. I like to listen to music that gets me horny because that gets me in the best painting mood haha ;-) It's like alchemy. You wake up the dragon, the sexual power. Painting is also a great outlet when I'm angry or sad. Every mood makes a different result.
Do you feel like you can work on a painting forever or is there a clear moment that you feel like 'OK it's done'?
I experience both. When I go abstract/Binaural I can start with a white canvas, spend years on it, end up making it black and start all over again and that can go on forever. Yesterday for example I started drawing a wizard and now I'm trying to figure out what I'm going to create around it. It's like a magic space. It can go in all kinds of directions. And other times I'm working on something and I feel very strongly that it's finished.
What are you most proud of career wise?
I am proud of just the achieving itself. I'm proud of my progress and of course of the sales! It's an amazing feeling to be recognized. And it's been fantastic to meet other artists and like-minded people who appreciate art and value my work.
What's the worst thing about your profession?
The hardest part about it is that a lot of people don't know how to appreciate art. It's not a necessity but more like a luxury product and that makes it hard. I think it would help if people would learn more about it in school and learn how to understand it better.
Is there anything else we should know about you?
Yes. What you can't tell from my art but what is the most important part of my life is the fact that I have a “congenital myasthenic syndrome” which is a neuromuscular disease and is characterized by muscle weakness (myasthenia). It means that my life depends on taking medicines (I take Mestinon Timespan 180mg) because if I don't take them I experience trouble with for example swallowing and speaking. The tough part about it is that the medicines are not always available in Mexico and I'm not the only person suffering from this. If I had all the money in the world I would buy a laboratory to make sure there's enough supply for the people in Mexico like me who need it!
What are your wishes for the future? Besides building the laboratory, another dream of mine is to build a sustainable Ecovillage on my own piece of land. I can totally picture it in my head. Being able to eat food out of my own land and re-use rain water etc. My idea is that I would have (for example) 10 bungalows with all the essentials: living room, kitchen, bed, bathroom, shower etc. In the middle of those bungalows I would have an art gallery, a garden with fruits and vegetables and also things like a spa etc. When people would buy a piece of art it would include staying in the bungalow for a certain amount of days and use the facilities. It would be the perfect combination of taking care of the earth, ourselves and being able to sell my art. In the end gigantic sales are great... but being healthy means being rich and that is my main priority!
Are you as excited as we are about Kevin and do you want to see more of his Binaural art? Check out his Instagram and Facebook page for more!
Curious to see more artwork of Kevin's friends? Check out their Instagram pages! Ismael Villaseñor, Fabián Jiménez and Claudia Esquivel.