A Belizean Artist
Walter Castillo is a well-known and sought after Belizean artist. He got his big break at 20 years old when he showcased his work in Cavendish Square. In fact, if you’ve been to Belize you’ve probably seen his work hanging in offices and hotel foyers.
At four years old, Walter and his family, originally from Nicaragua, migrated to their new home of Belize. From early on he was exposed to the natural beauty of the country. Growing up watching some of the most sublime sunrises and sunsets, swaying palm trees at every turn, his inspiration was the expansive view of the Caribbean Sea. The love he grew for the country that, in his words, “adopted” him, is the founding inspiration of his life’s work.
Talking to Walter is always a pleasure. Through his characteristic accent you hear a joy ignited while he talks of his work. When asked about his work and the message he portrays in his art he momentarily pauses searching for the right words and says:
‘My work is Belize. Often I’m asked this. I do not look for inspiration because I am never bored. Belize is so many things, so many cultures. I like to think about the scenes that I paint as a perfect world. Like Belize in the 80s. There were still many locations without electricity and technology. It was a better way of life. Living on the land and sea for sustenance. Taking and using only what was needed. It was a time of abundance and love’.
The Man Behind the Brush
Walter’s artwork has a distinctive style, easily recognized by the colorful tropical landscapes and silhouettes that populate the scenery. Always painted from a bird’s eye view, his canvas are filled with life and raw beauty.
‘I paint cultures. I paint what I see and want to be. The people in my paintings are shadows of myself and those I meet around me. I practice self-observation and project the image of astral travel into my work.’
By the time Walter was 20, he was considered an art prodigy. People could not help but notice his art expression of color and hope.
‘You know I am self-taught. I learned watching my idols and friends like Nelson Young. The primitive works of Henri Rousseau guided me to find my passion and style. Life is perspective and that is what I give in my paintings – another way to see the world, to inspire others to think in beauty and live a life of love.’
A Life of Art
In his work you observe unity, raw elation, and the beauty of nature. Walter firmly believes people are drawn to his work because the scenes he portrays are those of idyllic dreams. Painting is a form of meditation for him. It’s also a way for him to showcase his spectacular surroundings. More importantly, it allows him to portray the way he would like the world to be. To him the world is most beautiful without electricity, cars, greed and war. In his paintings conscious living prevails and materialism is a distant thought.
His art has been shown across the world, including exhibitions in Stockholm, Mexico, Houston, Lisbon and Bolonga, Italy. Walter is now in his late 40s and shows no signs of slowing down. He spends his days in his art studio in Bullet Tree Falls creating and producing unique pieces daily. Before our conversation is over he detailed his surroundings as if it were a work of his art.
‘I live to paint. I do shift around subjects and landscapes but that depends on my surroundings. Right now I’m by the river. It is so beautiful. There are children playing, a rope swing is hanging from a tree, and I can smell the soil shifting with the current. It is a constant flow of energy. I live within my work and my work lives within me. I am inside my painting right now, I must show the world what I see.’
Walter’s art is a bright gem filled with positivity and joy brightening even the darkest of rooms.
Visit his studio in Cayo, if you are in Belize or web site at waltercastilloart.com for more information on his life and work.
Original Article Written By: Sahar Vasquez
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