The Day Everything Became Nothing, 2013 

Mixed media, book pages 

9.5 x 6.5 inches each 

Courtesy of the Artist & Georgia Scherman Projects 

The Day Everything Became Nothing looks to a more obscure history of colonialism. Castellanos whitewashes the pages of an old book which tells the history of the founding of Venice in the 5th century CE: a story of refugees fleeing nearby Roman towns to the lagoon that would become Venice, a swampy geography that deterred the invading Huns. Castellanos universalizes the material and brings this past into conversation with cycles of conquest and colonization spanning geographic boundaries.

Ulysses Castellanos

The Royal Family, 2013

Indian ink,magazine page

13.75 x 10.25inches each 

Courtesy of theArtist & Georgia Scherman Projects 

The Royal Family is a suite of paparazzi photographs culled from the pages of tabloid magazines from the mid-1990s which documented the lives of the British monarchy. Castellanos recasts these icons of high culture in a humorous yet sinister light: he paints their faces and clothes in black paint, creating grotesque but vaguely recognizable counterparts to the royals. Through his iconoclastic approach, Castellanos delivers a critique of the British colonization of the Americas and the centuries of exploitation the continent has endured as a consequence of European rule. 

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Photo Credit Mirna Chacín

Using Format