Young Artist to Watch – Jordan Castel

Sargent Daughters Jordan Casteel

A recent Bloomberg piece cited Jordan as an artist to watch out for and to invest in and I can understand why as she has been getting a massive amount of press last year and serious collectors are taking note she has recently been taken on by Casey Kaplan Gallery in New York.

Her portraits of black males, exploring their masculinity in urban and domestic settings, some nudes are painted in a lurid hues of reds and greens as she explores their raw sexuality and bold attitude.

Her subject reside in her neighbourhood of Harlem and she states,

“I am most interested in sharing sensitive, humanistic and honest stories of my community”

Jordan Casteel Miles and Jojo 2014

There is strong narrative thread in her work, as she captures everyday people on the street and at home, this is figurative painting at its’ best and Jordan seems to part of a growing list of black artists who are highly sought after, such as Mickalene Thomas, Barkely L Hendricks, Kara Walker and Kehinde Wiley. For Kehinde, his fine portraits of Hip Hop stars reference medieval alter piece, here Jordan’s approach is paired without all the glitz and glamour, just normal people captured with honesty and compassion. She captures friendships and families in a crisp, realist style, startling at times in terms of the vibrancy of her colours.

Jordan Castel born in Denver, CO in 1989 and attend Yale University, Yale School of Art. She has had two solo shows at Sargent’s Daughter, New York, NY. She will be featured at the Harvey B. Gantt Center, Charlotte, NC in a show entitled ‘Jordan Casteel: Harlem Notes’.

Casteel, Jordan, Galen 2, 2014, oil on canvas, 72 x 84 inches-2
Casteel, Jordan, Galen 2, 2014, oil on canvas,

About Ben Austin

Ben Austin studied History of Art at Reading University. He started Catto Contemporary in Shoreditch where he was responsible for helping to launch the careers of several artists and showed Anthony Micallef and Banksy in a curated exhibition entitled ‘Perverse Pop’ back in 2001. Austin has worked at Art Review, before setting himself up as an independent curator and through Austin Enterprises he staged the legendary Frieze opening night show/party entitled ‘Decadence, Decay and the Demimonde’ at Home House in 2007, which featured art on loan from the Saatchi Gallery (Marcus Harvey, Liz Neal and Barry Reigate). He has also curated exhibition at the Blouin Foundation – ‘After Dark’ series, featuring acclaimed artists such as Alice Anderson. He has been on the judging panel for the ‘Young Masters’ prize. More recently he curated ‘Art Britannia’ during Miami Basel featuring a collection of contemporary British artists and acted as the initial curator and advisor the The Dot Project Gallery in Fulham. Ben Austin acts as an art advisor and dealer. He writes for numerous publications including Artlyst and FAD.