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Artists to View: Sofia Castellanos

February 23, 2018

Photo Courtesy of Sofia Castellanos Facebook

Butterflies: they are such a powerful symbol of growth. I feel that I’ve been drawn to them, sometimes obsessively, because of the unique process they go through to reach their ultimate beauty. Being a native of Morelia, Michoacán in Mexico, I feel that a love for monarchs is also representative of where I come from, since that city is known for its butterfly reserves. Surprisingly, I’ve never actually visited those reserves, but I still carry monarchs as a symbol of identity for myself. Perhaps it was Sofia Castellanos’ powerful use of butterflies in her portraits that drew me to her work; or maybe it is just because her work is absolutely brilliant.

Castellanos’ statement reads, “My work is an illustrated story, a journey through a place where magic triumphs over the paradoxes of our world, full of exotic characters and of possible fantasies, a chance to step into a new and way more colorful reality.”

Her portraits are definitely intense with the way that she juxtaposes objects or animals with human faces. A perfect example of this is her “Green Maharajas” illustration (shown here). The subject matter is composed of butterflies all around a bearded man. I feel that this image challenges traditional notions of masculinity by showing a softer side to the male figure that is not normally perceived as that. This is an interesting idea due to the still very present machismo in our culture. The use of the subtle teal as the dominant color adds to the idea of “softness,” and also emphasizes the fantasy and surrealist qualities that Castellanos is going for within her work.

Castellanos was born and is currently located in Mexico City. She received her bachelor’s degree in graphic design from the Florence Academy of art. She gets to travel around the world, and has also worked with companies like Liverpool, Cerveza Indio (beer), and Chanel. You can follow her on Instagram @sofiacastellanosart

Lily Guillen
Photography Manager

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