Pedro De Kastro was born 1971 in Lisbon, Portugal. As a child, he crossed Spain several times and was amazed by the large outdoors of Osborne Bulls lost in the rocky horizon. The end of the 80’s, was a troubled time for De Kastro, he attempted to escape from reality and used to thrill seek by train surfing and other activities. At the beginning of the 90’s, he enlisted as a volunteer Paratrooper in the Portuguese army. In spite of unforgettable moments and breaking some personal limits, Pedro chaffed under the authoritarian military hierarchy and obeying orders. He understood that this structure was necessary to maintain discipline, but he just wanted to fly and experience the adrenalin of an elite corps. After leaving the armed forces and drifting for a time, De Kastro again started his autodidact drawing studies.
Studies and Career
Although starting out as self taught, Pedro enrolled to study drawing at Ar.Co (Center of Art and Visual Communication) in Lisbon in 1994. Two years later, he learnt Etching at the Galeria Diferença also in Lisbon, improving his engraving skills with Bartolomeu dos Santos, a faculty member of Slade School of Fine Arts’ Department of Engraving, in London.
In 2001, Pedro represented Portugal in drawing at the 10th Biennial of Young Creators of Europe and the Mediterranean in Sarajevo. A few months later, he left the Old World for South America, more precisely Brazil, where he lives to this day. After some time in the capital of Brasília, he settled in the chaotic and often overwhelming megalopolis of São Paulo. De Kastro has not returned to Europe since then.
Pedro De Kastro’s imaginary landscapes are created with china ink techniques that recollect the European engraving techniques from the 18th and 19th centuries. His china ink drawings and etchings draw their oneiric atmosphere from the works of the great masters of engraving and illustration like, Albrecht Dürer, Giovanni Battista Piranesi or Gustave Doré. Those illustrous kraftsmen put in their visions the phantoms of their eras. In the same way, the images in Kastro’s work are impregnated by the phobias of his own temporal universe, that of the 21st century, with its industrial and nuclear nightmares, and longing to escape.
His journeys throughout Europe, which left deep impressions upon him, as well as engravings from 18th and 19th Century German Romantics, a few modern masters, science-fiction and adventure movies, European and American comics from the 70’s and the 80’s have served as his sources of visual inspiration.