Last year at the Pinta Art Fair in Miami, I walked away mildly obsessed with the work of Colombian artist, Omar Castaneda. His imagery is so ‘in your face’.
Castaneda is committed to the local culture of Columbia – exposing their socio-political issues with concepts and materials related to food and animals, since according to him, that is the basis of the people, the culture and their habits. Using these common elements, he dissects the past of towns and regions, tells personal stories and recreates armed conflicts, both current and past.
As his art delivers this message with what could fairly be described as disturbing imagery, it delves into the explorations of subjects and materials related to his native South America. Castaneda’s inspiration and resource is food – A basic human necessity, food is loaded with cultural, social and political implications with regard to its value, production, source, and consumption. Food effectively dissolves most preconceived distinctions between nature and culture, production and consumption, morals and markets, family and society, the individual and the collective, body and mind.