Experimentation and invention play essential roles in Craig Costello’s process. For over a decade, Costello has developed tools for creating art by re-purposing and modifying devices and objects not often associated with fine art, such as fire extinguishers, garden sprayers, and shoe polish bottles. Much like a paint brush, the tools are an extension of his hand and he is able to achieve unique marks of varying scale and control.
Costello’s formal art education began with photography and expanded to minimalism and conceptual art. This practice carried over into the street where Costello was a traditional graffiti writer. He stopped writing his name and painted minimal, gestural marks that created his signature drip. Two of his favorite surfaces were doors and mailboxes. The doors were rectilinear blocks of color and mailboxes were objects; they were transformed into paintings and sculptures. His work has evolved into large-scale, site-specific installations, which explore conversations between art and architecture, as each reacts to the shape, design, and features of the location. Costello’s studio practice bridges a continued interest in experimental process with minimal aesthetics and abstraction.
In this exhibition, Costello introduces a series of medium and large canvases. A departure from installations, this series presents a more formal painting approach. There is a sense of Costello’s physical presence in the works where movements are traceable and gestures have a distinguished beginning and end. Costello’s interest in the balance of controlled and uncontrolled features is present where cascading paint is dictated by the pressure he applies as well as gravity. The forms are comparable to traditional shapes and are simple and classic, but do not strive to be perfect.
All artwork: Untitled, 2018, acrylic on canvas, dimensions variable.