We had the good fortune of connecting with Angel Castelán and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Angel, we’d love to hear about a book that’s had an impact on you.
Queer in Aztlán is an anthology of writing and poetry by various Chicano males on their experiences on coming out. This anthology helped shape not only how I think about my own coming out experience but also helped shape the body of work that was part of the UH School of Art 41st MFA Thesis Exhibition last year. There are several writings from this anthology that resonate with me but Gibran Guido’s “My Shadow Beast” is the one that first comes to mind. It talks about the tropes of the Chicano male and how they conflict with one’s queerness but also clash with the tropes of gay culture. He writes, “I know that I occupy a space not sanctioned by both the gay community, which accepts and normalizes specific racial, body, age, and gender perceptions, which by default I already fall out of, and my Mexican identity, which looks at me as perverse, not a man, a maricon, jot@”.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My work focuses on the mundane, in which there is an authenticity and vulnerability. From pattern, light and shadow, to intimate interactions that are reserved for private moments or settings that are not only unappreciated but unconstrained by cultural and societal influences. By sourcing these moments from my own life through snapshots, I am not only able to immortalize the ephemeral through the act of painting but also able to push these moments through the delicate nature of works on paper (charcoal drawings and relief prints). Scale and point of view are also important to the inclusion of the viewer which allows them to take part as either participant or intruder.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Taqueria Laredo on Snover Street! I’ve been going there for years and their tacos are easily the best I’ve had in the city. Coral Sword on Telephone Rd is a great place to hangout, amazing staff and great selection of board games!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Two shoutouts! First to my amazing boyfriend, Elias! Second to the ladies of Hooks-Epstein Gallery here in Houston! Geri, Yvonne, and Jayni! Thank you for believing in me and my work! I love y’all!
Nominate someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.