"Justicia Divina II (No Justice, No Peace)," our limited edition print release this week from artist Victor Castillo, has deep connections to social justice and was inspired by George Floyd and the protests that followed his death.
We sat down with Victor to discuss the themes and meanings behind this phenomenal, poignant work:
You've used rats as protestors in your work a few times before in paintings like "Under Heavy Measures." Who do they stand for, what are they fighting against and how does the title of the work, "Justicia Divina (No Justice No Peace)" play into it?
The rats stand for the people. They represent the people in a world where black and white cats have the power. They are fighting for justice.
The rats are demanding to the heavens where is the justice. The title of the work is ironic, it can be understood as a critique of Western religion that teaches us to respect authority even when it’s abusing us.
Do these characters you paint, do they co-exist in the same universe or is each work its own time and place?
Yes, all my characters exist In the same universe. Like fables my paintings are in this universe that is a reflection of society.
This work is an important and beautiful reminder to stand up for what is right. What are some of the most pressing issues that you find most important to stand up for and fight against in our society today?
Equality that you can see in education, health, access to housing. It’s impossible to have a future with the extreme inequality that we are living, and I think the environmental crisis is a consequence of the same problem.
"Justicia Divina II" (No Justice, No Peace) will be available beginning Thursday, January 12th at 1PM PST in our shop.