This past week, I was given the opportunity to meet the Peruvian sensation, Romina del Castillo. Her art was captivating and interesting and I was glad to have been able to speak with her regarding her work.
First, I was amazed at how real her del Castillo’s portraits were, rather, looked. It was as if someone had taken a still image of a person and Romina just happened to redraw them perfectly and without error or complications. The amount that went into her work would simply not just go unnoticed. I told her that I appreciated this in her work. I did notice that some of the people that she had drawn did have a resemblance to Romina and she confirmed this.
She has drawn herself in one of her portraits, in which she reflects through a mirror and the audience can see her and a picture of the Saint with the baby. In the real image, there is a nun (also in representation of the iconic saint) holding a baby. In this regard, Romina claims to have gained inspiration from Peru. She suggests that one her biggest methods was to appropriate the imagery from Peru, allowing it to become a partial representation of her beliefs and her overall method of illustration.
In the other portraits, she has drawn some of her friends, and she has drawn her mother. I noticed that in the picture with one of her friends, there is a bright blanket and there is also a strong contrast in the color. The highlighted, or the dominant, colors are black, white, and grey. The blanket under and behind her friend is especially bright and luminous. I wondered if her intention was to display someone who is potentially sad, but underneath, she is still a bright person and that will never be lost. Romina grinned at the question and said that she liked my interpretation of her work. I could tell that she really did appreciate my input; I do not think that was her initial intention, but it worked for her anyways.
Stylistically, del Castillo wanted to be honest. That was a focus point for her artwork: honesty. She says that her work was a compilation of many things with contributing factors. For her, her art signifies how the concepts and ideas can be rendered with the actual materials of her pieces which include pastel, charcoal, and chalk, It can also be appreciated that Romina’s art revolves around the present and do not become of any prior knowledge or thoughts about something. Her ideas occur to her in the moment and from thereon, she illustrates. In the moment is when she feels it is the most relevant and real. In other words, the portraits just are; they do not come from too many specified sources. She wants to keep her artwork “playful” in her own manner and by keeping the portraits alive in the moment, it probably will not be a problem for Romina.