Vincent Castiglia has been around the place. From painting portraits in blood to tattooing... You can say he's one bloody amazing artist.
The first thing we should tell you about Vincent Castiglia is he consistently paints with his own blood. To guys like us, it's nothing new. We've known men who paint with not only blood (and not just theirs) but other body fluids such as semen and urine mixed with water and acrylics.
His fascination with the concept of life led him to creating works that surpass the conventional standards in what is considered as fine art.
Castiglia admits that his works are dark in nature. It's something he relishes in. It's what sets him apart from the rest. He's been using blood as medium for the past twelve years and it doesn't seem like he'll be changing his mind any time soon. He's been known to pass out on some occasions while having his blood but claims that it's part of the experience.
Castiglia reveals that the core inspiration in most of his works are inoculated from life itself and his own experiences. His paintings contain many symbolisms that can be directly correlated with embracing death as an integral part of life.
“These are allegories of what I believe to be experiences that are universal to human beings,” he said. “There’s love and there’s fear and there’s hope and there’s death and decay, and there’s also regeneration and life and sex and betrayal; everything in the whole gamut of human experience. It’s an honest conveyance of experiences that touched me deeply enough to inspire a painting.”
In my own point of view, I see past the macabre nature of Castiglia's works and I see how beautiful something as morbid yet natural as death can be through the hands of Vincent Castiglia. There's something intimate with using your own blood as medium.
The blood paintings didn't happen by accident. It's something Castiglia really prepared himself for. Most of his paintings require 15 vials of blood but larger canvasses would require more, making the task even more daunting for him. Some of his paintings can measure up to 7 feet tall—which means approximately 30 vials of the artist's blood.
“I’ve been making art in one form or another for my whole life,” Castiglia told The Weekender. “To be forthright, it started as a kind of distraction from my environment, from my living situation. My whole situation was really not a good one, so I drew obsessively for that reason. It was a place I could go to that was comfortable, that was preferable over the reality situation.”
The contrast of light and darkness in Castiglia's works have always been prominent. To him, it's some kind life and death.
“As soon as we’re born, we’re dying and forced into this existence where we’re temporary,” Castiglia said. “We’ve got a limited amount of days. So … what do you do with that time, and how do you bring purpose to a life, and what’s the human experience all about? That’s what the work probes.”
Castiglia's medium may not be everybody's cup of tea but those who appreciated his personal desire to use blood in his paintings are utterly fascinated with this and ever impressed with his works. Some even go far as to compare the 33-year-old to genius painter Leonardo DaVinci.
In addition to being a bloody good painter, Castiglia is also a tattoo artist who once apprenticed at 570 Tattooing Co. The guys at the same tattoo shop has nothing less to say about the painter.
“He’s definitely very, very intricate,” Breandan Angley, a resident tattoo artist at 570 Tattooing Co. said. “You can tell he’s been doing this a long, long time. His contrast is great. I like the way his background is almost a separate piece in itself. He’s using his blood as a medium and you can see that he’s not taking away from it. There’s a lot of veiny looking strokes and a lot of flesh strokes.”
You may see more of his works here.