Using his camera to rethink how life is perceived in Los Angeles, Castro Frank subverts the traditions of photographic genres in a deconstruction of contemporary life.
Through his street photography, Castro offers a glimpse into private existence within this booming metropolis as his images become individual components that make up a larger portrait of the city itself.
Castro Frank’s workAmongst Castro Frank’s works are series of double exposures that create a visual juxtaposition of individuals and the invisible cultural elements that influence them; embodying the inherent multiculturalism of the city.
In “Protección”, symbols of Los Angeles converge. A street vendor is framed by the notorious traffic and rolling coastal hills but overlaid with a classic tiled image of the Virgin Mary. Together, this person easily dismissed as a pedestrian exemplifies the long history of immigration and the daily impact of the Catholic religion that is experienced by so many within the city.
The images he creates are filled with raw emotion and lived experience; however, they are elevated through accents of rich saturated colors.
This dramatic use of color highlights the subjects of his “Dreamers” series; bold yellow walls frame a man with an accordion adorned in a cowboy hat, a food vendor’s traditional red sombrero match the red tiles he stands in front of allowing his crisp white shirt to draw the eye. The powerful hues draw on a visual iconography associated with region, but utilizes the genre of portraiture to force the viewer to see, relate, and admire these disregarded people.
Somehow the everyday is transformed into something rivaling the cinematic. The vibrant neon and seas of blues combined with the textured array of images created through the use of both digital and analog mediums, evoke some idealized notion of California but are subverted through the revealed truth of the subjects. In both his street scenes and portraits he reveals that Los Angeles is not all that it appears to be.
Castro’s work, Ethereal Series, proves to be more than his gorgeous yet gritty approach to street photography.
His latest work evolves the notion of revealing the hidden through the creation of ethereal photographic images exposing the deep-seated inner psychologies of the human experience.
His premier series of these works feature a set of analog 35mm film images that utilize the textured approach to balance light, dark, and color.
Each image holds a distinct memory for Castro depicted through his signature color palette being ripped apart by incandescent leaks of light. They are translations of his personal journey boiled down into their truest emotional essence; calling out to a viewer through an unarticulated but universal connection.
Lost amongst the shifting colors, confused by the piercing leaks of light, and yet a perfect aesthetic harmony is achieved as light and dark seem to find their balance. Forced meditation and deep contemplation envelope the viewer.
As Castro deconstructs the film through his use of light he is laying his own inner emotions bare, stunning his audience.
Castro Frank uses Street Photography to unmask the reality of life in Southern California.
It is a diverse cultural landscape often hidden beneath the glitz and glamor of a Hollywood facade. Dreamers, seeking better futures woven together into a rich cultural fabric are revealed in their true glory through Castro’s camera. Castro strips away the pretense forcing the viewer into an authentic experience with the city, the people, and the emotions that are the foundation of the true Los Angeles.