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"Lowbrow back then was the opposite of highbrow, driven mainly by self-taught artists that really had a love for it. They were coming from a cartoon, nostalgia-inspired art and representational art mixed with surrealism," he says. "To me, this whole movement was born straight from a punk-rock mentality, a do-it-yourself mentality."
But lowbrow lost its appeal. "Ultimately, aesthetically, I didn't see the movement evolve," he says.
After cofounding the popular Gen Art Vanguard Fair in 2007 and directing it in 2008 with a $250,000 budget, his curating came to an end. He broke away from being a scenester and went to pull 12-hour days in his studio in Broward County. He prefers to seclude himself so he can work distraction-free.
1650 Harrison St.
Hollywood, FL 33020
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He garnered overnight international attention in September 2012 when the blog coolhunter.net ran a post about his "Geometry" series. The post was picked up by other blogs and translated into foreign languages. Looking at his website analytics, he saw visitors on his site from the Middle East, Asia, and Egypt. "I think the tipping point was during the revolution in Egypt. All the people went online overnight, and I got 50,000 followers alone in Cairo," he says. "I got my work seen all over Asia, the Middle East. And I gained new attention from people commenting in Asian, Hebrew, and Arabic about my work in words I couldn't translate.
"I think geometry found me, because all you have are these colors and shapes. No matter what your age, your culture, or language you speak, everyone can jump in."
The new style is radically different, and perhaps more grown-up, than his old work, which he has removed from his website. But his hipster cred is still intact — he was commissioned for a project with Redbull during last year's Winter Music Conference, incorporating his new pastel colors and abstract shapes to design DJ stages. He is able to please both struggling millennials (he sells some prints for just $25 and has shot a current series of photos of young, indie models with pastel colors and a dreamy haziness) and rich benefactors. (A skirt made from textiles featuring his geometry patterns sells for $1,195.)
"Geometry is just a word; it's an aesthetic," he says. "There's no math involved in it. 'Advent' represents personal arrival, as well as a broad social and global one. In case you haven't noticed, the world is changing so rapidly. Our technological evolution combined with scientific discoveries are catapulting us into an era that we won't recognize our own children anymore," he says.
"Our evolution isn't linear; it's exponential," he continues. "And we are on this cusp that is waiting to break open — some people call it singularity — the moment where our human intelligence collides with our technological evolution. And we are creating a new species, whether it's machines or us merging with the machines, that's going to take us on to a whole different evolutionary level.
"To me, these paintings represent our entire universe. These shapes are atoms. They are galaxies. They are representational of all that combined. They all represent evolving structures that are constantly in flux and ideas that are constantly clashing with each other. And with these clashes, new ideas arise, and we evolve through them. We have billions of people finally waking up and networking with each other; even if we don't speak the same language, we are getting to know ourselves in the process for the first time. This kind of communication hasn't happened before."
Lo Castro's "Geometry" series, along with his video animation, are on view at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood this month in the "Advent" show, a group exhibition with Peter Hammar, Jessy Nite, Dana Lauren Goldstein, Gustavo Matamoros, and Gustavo Oviedo. He has representation with galleries in Dallas and in the Hamptons.