An art exhibition at the Sacred Gallery in New York City has a rather unusual appeal. The art works, in a collection titled Resurrection, have all been painted with the artist's blood. The show, which runs for the month of October, is the work of New York-based surrealist Vincent Castiglia, who has worked with blood paintings for ten years now.
The 30 year old Castiglia began using blood as a medium to connect with his work on the "most intimate level". However, while some have praise for his work, others have been less appreciative, calling it a "gimmick".
"My response would be to really take a look at the content of the work, which overshadows what it's made from, I think. In order for something to be a gimmick, it really would have to lack substance," the painter was quoted as saying by Reuters, in his defence. In addition, Castiglia also expresses the logic behind his way of painting - the connection between paint and blood being the chemical compound of iron oxide, which is found in both substances.
"Vincent's figures, their musculature and skin, are painted with what could be thought of as "liquid flesh". Its tendency to quicken the subjects is likely inapproachable by any other medium---as it is actual tissue with which it is being rendered," the Sacred Gallery said in a statement, "Vincent practices a kind of modern-day phlebotomy, siphoning the life force which contains his own psychic energy, while giving it an outlet and form. In doing so, he dissolves the barrier between artist and art in a most literal and immediate sense."
The controversial creative ingredient aside, Castiglia's paintings primarily feature human figures in distorted and abstract forms that relate easily with the material (blood) used for painting. For instance, a painting named Feeding features a wheelchair bound mother carrying a baby while her legs are sans muscle. It depicts a situation of hope in times of fragility.
"This exhibit is the culmination of a lifetime of searching and posing many questions through images, making declarations of truths uncovered and pouring a myriad of emotions, conflicts, and bliss' into these coagulations which delineate all aspects of the past decade of my life," Castiglia said.
Check out some of the paintings by Castiglia...