Italian born and growing up in Germany, at 17 Francesco Lo Castro moved to Miami, Florida. There’s a very international demographic there that fits his background and it fits what Francesco does. He’s always felt like an immigrant, and the good thing about Miami is that it doesn’t matter there. Everybody is an immigrant. The feeling of being an outsider fell away when he moved there. The city is still in transformation, like a blank canvas that needs to be painted. And artists are at the center of this transformation creating the identity of the city.
Miami was known for it’s pastel colors. Just think of Miami Vice or the famous art deco buildings. In the 90’s these colors we’re out of style. But Francesco still likes them, and wanted to use the pastel colors in a contemporary context. Where Francesco used to paint portraits, he’s now creating abstract work using the pastel colors in them. The abstract work is the fitting contemporary context for the pastel colors. But the abstract work also connects to his background and the melting pot that Miami is. His work is about shape, color and geometry. Every can talk about this, it’s like a common language for all nationalities. There are no outsiders. Francesco’s technical background is in painting portraits. Over time, he felt he needed to create more meaning than portraits offer. Portraits tend to be about how good you are at painting realistically, but his creative questions weren’t being answered. Playing with the photo’s he had of his subjects, adding colors and geometric shapes to them, a new style developed. The new style was appreciated, people loved it. And so Francesco continued.
His paintings are made in several layers of transparent paints and spray paints, using wood panels as a canvas. Between each layer a thin resin is applied that essentially make his paintings three dimensional. You can see the shadows if you look carefully. Layer by layer the work progresses and Francesco creates the shapes and the proper colors as he goes along, making the final result a surprise to himself as well. He loves the mystery in making the paintings.