The masterpiece collection

WHITE RHINOCEROS

Antonio Castelló Avilleira

Oil on canvas             

275x366cm

2015-2018

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Abundance to what end? ⁣The space in Antonio Castelló Avilleira’s Masterpiece is vibrant and intense. Filled with an abundance of props from Antonio’s personal life, the models seem very much aware of being watched and engage the viewer with confident, direct eye contact.

White Rhinoceros is Antonio Castelló Avilleira’s first work that he wholeheartedly admits fully identifying himself with. Indeed, Antonio put his heart and soul into this painting, starting many months in advance with sleepless nights imagining the perfect photoshoot to capture the perfect photo to inspire the perfect painting. Months of creating mood boards, scouting and contacting international catwalk models, purchasing and commissioning a wardrobe for them, buying the right furniture and selecting objects from his own and his father’s antique collection went into the big day.

“One thing that intrigued me in this process as well: Are the models artists in their own right in this scene or are they the models or even live props in service of an artist, me? I had designed and imagined the set and scene in great detail, but the shoot was an interaction and in that sense a co-creation. But then again, I had selected these fashion models for their style and character, which they cannot change much, except on an expressive, performative level. So, this question of agency vs passivity remains interesting, not only at the shooting but also in the final work, as the models are powerful and communicative on the canvas.”