Jorge José Castillo Casalderrey (born June 16, 1933) is a Spanish-born painter and sculptor. For most of his childhood, he and his family lived in Argentina. Since 1962, he has maintained residences in both Barcelona and New York City.
Castillo greatly admired Pablo Picasso, and that influence shows in his paintings, etchings, and lithographs. His steel sculpture Homage to the Cyclist stands in the Plaça de Sants in Barcelona.
The Spanish painter, graphic artist and sculptor Jorge Castillo was born in Pontevedra in the Spanish province of Galicia in 1933. Only one year after his birth his family emigrated to Argentina for political reasons. Castillo spent his childhood and youth in Buenos Aires. He produced his first autodidactic artwork at a young age. After he had taken part in a competition in 1941 Castillo was admitted to the “Ecole des Beaux-Arts” in Buenos Aires. But he left the school a short time later because he did not agree with the way the school worked.
In 1948 he began an apprenticeship in technical drawing and educated himself auto didactically. His acquaintance with the Argentine Surrealist Raquel Forner led to a close collaboration of the two artists.
In 1955 Jorge Castillo returned to Spain, where he first lived in Madrid. During that time he worked on Surrealistic ink drawings and gouaches. In 1959 he presented these in his first exhibition at the Galería Altamira in Madrid.
In the early 1960s Castillo moved to Barcelona, followed by a two-year sojourn in Paris. With his move to Geneva in 1966 he had the opportunity to work with printed graphics. His work in Geneva was interrupted by long summer sojourns to Boissano on the Ligurian coast. His most important etching sequences such as “El mundo de Frederico García Lorca” (1972) and “Grands amants” (1973) were produced during the subsequent years.
After an incident with an American nuclear bomb above the Spanish village of Palomares, the artist was inspired to produce a monumental triptych composition. This piece brought him international recognition and had him invited to the Kassel “documenta” a year later. With a scholarship from the “Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst” Jorge Castillo went to Berlin in 1969, where he enlarged his his oeuvre, not to return to Barcelona until 1975.
Since the early 1980s Castillo has lived in New York, where he was commissioned to create public sculptures in La Coruña, Messina and Barcelona.
Jorge Castillo is one of the most important Spanish exponents of Surrealism and Art informel. He is highly respected throughout Europe, South America and the USA. Since 1959 Jorge Castillo has received numerous awards. In 1964 and 1968 he contributed to the São Paulo and Venice Biennales. In 1964 Castillo won the International Drawing Prize in Darmstadt, Germany. Among other finalists were Henry Moore, Jean Dubuffet and Alberto Giacometti. Expressing his admiration for younger artist, Giacometti added that Castillo would make a good sculptor. “He was very generous,” says Castillo. “Very encouraging.” The following year, galleries in Switzerland, Germany and Italy presented one-man shows of Castillo´s work.