In order to better “dissolve the barrier between art and artist”, New York-based artist Vincent Castiglia uses his own blood as a medium for his disturbing paintings. Throughout his artistic career, he has used around 12 pints of blood. “My work is literally a blood sacrifice on the altar of art,”the painter says.
While many artists claim a lot of sweat, blood and tears go into their art, Vince Castiglia is serious about the blood part. During the last 10 years, the painter from Hell’s Kitchen, New York, has been using his own blood as material for his art. In a recent interview, Castiglia said he was first inspired to use the bizarre art medium by a need to connect to his work “on the most intimate level.” It just so happens that human blood contains iron oxide, a pigment found in many traditional paints, as well as in iron ore and common rust. The 30-year-old begins his artistic process by drawing pen or graphite sketches on a white canvas, before proceeding to extract the “paint”, in the privacy of his own studio. Then he dilutes the blood and uses paintbrushes to create creepy reddish characters with twisted limbs, or in different stages of decay.
Throughout his decade-long career as a blood painter, Vincent Castiglia has had mostly positive reactions from art lovers, but he admits there are a few who consider his technique gimmicky. “My response would be to really take a look at the content of the work, which overshadows what it’s made from, I think,” he said. “In order for something to be a gimmick, it really would have to lack substance.”
Larger blood paintings can take several months to complete, and his works range in price from $950 to $26,000. Castiglia’s art has been exhibited mostly in America and Europe, but they have also been used as album covers for Swiss heavy metal band Triptykon’s debut “Eparistera Daimones”, and as a poster for 2010’s horror slasher, “Savage County”.
Photos © Vincent Castiglia via Facebook