ALDO CASTILLO GALLERY
Beyond the Mundane - Buttons In Art
February 7 - 28, 2024
Augusto Esquivel, Van Gogh Self Portrait, 2023, Sewing Buttons, Monofilament and Acrylic
His latest work is a colorful self portrait of Vincent Van Gogh which will be hanging for a first time in Esquivel’s show at Aldo Castillo Gallery on Fifth Avenue South along with Picasso’s “Lady with a Blue Hat” and several other astonishing pieces, including Mop and Mop Bucket addressing Climate Activism. Esquivel reflected that in recent years environmental activists have staged increasingly brazen stunts at art museums worldwide in a bid to bring attention to the climate crisis. For example, in 2022, a man in a wig was detained after throwing a piece of cake at the Mona Lisa at the Louvre Museum.
In November 2022, two climate activists glued their hands to the frames of two paintings by Francisco Goya at Madrid’s Prado Museum. In June 2022, two protestors were arrested in Stockholm after they splashed paint at the Claude Monet painting “The Artist’s Garden at Giverny”, and then glued themselves to its frame, Sweden’s National Museum reported. The previous October, members of the British group, Just Stop Oil, flung tomato soup at Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers in London’s National Gallery.
“Augusto Esquivel takes buttons that were designed to hold garments together and creates sculptures of unique beauty. Whether they are recreations of old master paintings or objects of popular culture, Esquivel takes buttons beyond the mundane into new realms”. Kathy O’Flinn, Managing Editor, Spotlight News Magazine
Esquivel grew up in Argentina and felt nostalgia for his grandmother, a seamstress by trade, who saved her buttons in a tin can. That heart felt memory later influenced him in his art.
His first love in art was science fiction in movies, so he went to school to study special effects, which gave him his first introduction to sculpting. In 2001 he moved to the United States having various jobs including a janitor, working in the hospitality industry and eventually as an assistant to a sculptor who became his mentor.
ART ON THE EXHIBITION
Aldo Castillo Gallery Director offers a strong curatorial statement that reflects his 35 years of experience as both an international art curator and art dealer. The majority of the works on view will have been specifically commissioned by Castillo for the Augusto Esquivel show.