Carles Castel’s large-sized oil paintings invite the beholder to dwell. As if guiding by means of invisible magic, they continuously seduce the viewer to look ever closer. The warm, often rapidly, dynamically and thickly applied colour shades are assembled to form atmospheric colour islands which communicate tenderly with each other.
Such harmonically arranged colour palettes convey the notion of unknown and mysterious landscape visions. These pictures show sentimental landscapes, formed in the act of painting in the mind’s eye of the artist. The colour choice is mainly based on bright, clear hues, with predominating shades of brown, green and blue. By applying these colours primarily in a horizontal brush progression, the artist conveys a connection between groundedness and dream vision.
Building on each other, two shades prevail: a warm, bright ochre and soft blue, creating the illusion of glistening horizons, wedded to the sky. One of Carles Castel’s major strengths lies in the poetic modelling of infinite wideness. Absorbed by some of his landscapes, one immediately recalls Goethe’s description of a mirage in his Diwan: „And blue, past wilds we flee / Stretched the illusive sea“.
Lightly, his landscapes convey the conception of an atmospheric, sheer unfathomable wideness, where the earth aspires to infinity and unites, by means of subtle colour choice, with the sky. These iterative, frequently thickly applied colour palettes give his pictures a visual strength, aspiring to unity and connectivity over and over again.
By these means, Carles Castel’s landscapes inimitably broach the tensions between wideness and vicinity, the comprehensible and the incomprehensible, and this world and the other world. At the same time, the pictures convey the desire of the artist to dissolve and reconcile these tensions in pictorial harmony.
A native of Barcelona, the content choice for the picture was inspired by the ever present view of the sea in his hometown, which accompanied and shaped his cravings ever since his early life. Like the glistening light dispersing softly on the sea of his memories, his brush style formulates intensive, floating and at the same time ever harmonic colour landscapes.
Altogether, the true refinement of his pictures lies in a particular, individual combination of painting styles, originating both from abstract and impressionistic conceptions. Without perceivable border lines, loosely washed colour islands are set against and next to coursely brushed ones , thus creating the impression of naturalistic, yet unknown atmospheres.
All of Carles Castel‘s landscapes are void of mankind. In our ever more dense, urbanistic world they reflect the often unconscious or supplanted emotions and desires for harmony, beauty and the wideness of Nature.
text: Felizitas zur Lippe | photography: Michael G. Gromotka