A painting depicting figures holding or combined with wooden structures supporting masks and flowers

Osvaldo Ramirez Castillo, "Shipwreck in Jucuapa," detail, 2020; mixed media drawing; 60 x 109 in. Photo: Felipe Fittipaldi.

Osvaldo Ramirez Castillo

Artist Statement

My work is concerned with issues of collective memory, historical trauma, and identity explored through interdisciplinary approaches to drawing, which involve printmaking, stop-motion animation video, and installation work. 

Using mixed media drawing techniques as primary tools for non-linear storytelling, I deploy a multitude of motifs found in pre-Hispanic mythology, Salvadoran popular folklore, and Catholic iconographies, with styles sourced from Western art history, to merge a hybridized aesthetic of historical, cultural, and personal experience. My research is engaged in revision work of collective histories, issues of migration, violence, and the study of ancient indigenous knowledge unique to El Salvador’s living memory. My practice is a form of personal myth-making that incorporating political expressions, voices, and modes of resistance, and speaking to an ongoing process of reconciliation, repair, and healing.


While at Headlands

While at Headlands I’ll continue to reexamine and process source material and develop ongoing drawings that employ mixed media approaches on paper to juxtapose collective histories, political expressions, and indigenous knowledge rooted in El Salvador’s living memory. I will also research new narrative possibilities by immersing myself in the landscape, drawing on the local plant life and surrounding geography to develop my personal lexicon of nature-based imagery and mythology.


Artist Portrait by Roberta McDonald.