|Death Date: July 29, 1971
|Federico Cristencia de Castellón y Martinez, better known as Federico Castellón, was a surrealist printmaker, illustrator, painter and sculptor. He was born in Almeria, Spain in 1914. His family immigrated to the United States in 1921 and lived in Brooklyn, New York.
A fundamentally self-taught artist, Castellón began sketching at an early age. He took advantage of his family’s relocation and visited the museums of New York. With this in mind his influences ranged from Old Masters to the modern artists of his day, including Giorgio de Chirico, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and Georges Rouault.
Castellón was introduced to Diego Rivera, who had an international reputation painting murals for Rockefeller Center. The older artist took an interest in the young man’s work and brought Castellón’s drawings to the attention of the director of the Weyhe Gallery in New York, who subsequently gave the eighteen-year old his first solo exhibition.
In 1943 Castellón became an American citizen. During WWII he was with the OSS and assigned to the Burma Theater. Throughout the 1940s and 50s, his work centered around his travels abroad: to China with the U.S. Army; to Italy on his second Guggenheim fellowship; and to Paris and Madrid, where he moved his family for a brief period.
Although Castellón worked in virtually every media, he remains best known for his early graphic work, particularly his lithographs and etchings, in which he became a master.