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photograph by Paul castagna.



Paul James Castagna was born to second generation Italian and Corsican parents in the seaport of Ashland Wisconsin again in 1946. He began painting seriously when he was about sixteen years old after seeing a full moon obscured by clouds on a summer night while walking home in the little village of Pence where he grew up. The sky seemed black and the clear air and soft breeze blew through the silhouettes of the tall trees behind his house. The next morning he took out his mothers paints and began trying to capture the impression he'd seen the night before on a panel with thick oil paint. It was a terrible painting but what he lacked in technique was compensated by passion.. it only resembled what he had seen... still it was one small step .a simple beginning to an obscure career.

Paul attended a University in Wisconsin and then moved to Denver where he worked very hard to purge himself of his education and from the whole disease of Western Tradition, Art History, and Modernism. Ho hum.

In 1986 he showed some small paintings in Paris France and also did a series of paintings for the magazine Yellow Silk(which I believe is still being published).

a few years later he had another showing in a small gallery in Colorado Springs.

After relocating to Northern Wisconsin where he currently lives, he set up another studio in his home and continue to paint and compose music there even as we speak. Having little or no interest in Art Galleries, he shows his work exclusively online and in private showings.

"I paint because painting is an important act.

I paint for myself and for those people who have some appreciation for this work.

I paint as the spirit moves me, and I refuse to cripple my spirit into a single style that galleries can use merely as a marketing device.

Profit is being able to work.

When someone else appreciates the work enough to pay for it, that is just icing on the cake.

The paintings speak for themselves.

I don't judge them or analyze them while I'm working.

I let them speak.

They are an instrument, I am an instrument, and the viewer is also an instrument.

Myth is important.

the paintings are a kind of myth.

They don't tell a story.

They are part of a larger story.

The viewer may find his own story in them.

Some of them have musical counterparts.

They express what can't be expressed with music or words.

Painting is another language.

It's a direct language like music.

like very slow music.

and like every other language , it must be learned.

even by the painter.