Carolyn Castaño

Gallery Affiliations: Walter Maciel Gallery, Eileen Harris Norton

Region: Pacific Coast

My work examines personas and narratives associated with the narco wars and political dramas currently unfolding in Latin America. I am interested in not just the human toll of these conflicts, but in what these stories say about our often-conflicted fantasies about wealth, love, criminality, honor, and beauty.

These fantasies very often come into high relief in our perceptions of women in the male-dominated world of narco trafficking. Women are key players in the drug business as mules, money launderers, trophies, and wives, not to mention as drug traffickers themselves.

The female characters in the paintings are set in acid color garden grottos where glitter and rhinestone-encrusted tropical flora mix with coca flowers and marijuana leaves. The neon landscape is interrupted with the smudges or rolled out paint that act as a crossing out or negation, a kind of signifier of the violence and death bestowed upon the women who fell victims to narco trafficking.