Josie Del Castillo is a Brownsville artist who is currently pursuing her Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, in Edinburg, TX. Del Castillo has exhibited throughout the state of Texas, in cities like Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Dallas, and Lubbock, and most recently in galleries in California, Chicago, San Francisco, and New York. Del Castillo’s work consists of a series of self-portraits as well as portraits of others who she perceives as reflections of herself and a source of human inspiration. Personal and emotional connections are often symbolically made with the intention to capture the essence of each of her subjects.
Self-worth and personal insecurities are common themes for Del Castillo. Much of her work often deals with the subjects of mental health and anxiety, self-esteem, and growing up in the Rio Grande Valley. Trying to understand these issues on a personal level, Del Castillo evolved into a journey of self-acceptance which has become a critical component of her work. Del Castillo, who has struggled with issues of body image and self-esteem, finds that being a portrait artist has given her a greater appreciation of the human form and has helped her gain self-confidence and personal awareness.
Instead of emphasizing the dark connotations of mental health issues, Del Castillo challenges and confronts these themes through a positive outlook by portraying vibrant and colorful depictions of her subjects. Many of these works often include Mexican-American cultural iconography and people raised in the Rio Grande Valley.