Liset Castillo was born in 1974 in Camaguey, Cuba. For the past 10 years Castillo has consistently devised complex models that she constructs out of sand and then photographed them in her studio. Castillo has shown throughout the US and Europe and is the recipient of numerous fellowships including those from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Cintas Foundation, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, and the Marcelino Botin Foundation. Her work is held by numerous museums and private collections including The National Gallery (Washington DC), The Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago), the Marcelino Botin Foundation Collection, The Progressive Art Collection, the West Collection, The Frost Art Museum at Miami International University, the Museum of Fine Arts, St Petersburg, Florida, and others.
2000-2002, de Ateliers, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 1993-1998, Higher Institute of Art, (ISA) Havana, Cuba. 1989-1993, Professional Art School, Camaguey, Cuba. 1986-1989, Vocational Art School, Luis Casas Romero, Camaguey, Cuba.
My work consists of large photographs and sculptural installations of small intricate sculptural landscapes that imitate large architectural environments . Each image mimics terrains in desolate conditions. My photographs are illusionistic in scale, allowing each model to become a full size, a dramatic landscape that is seemingly vast and all encompassing. The idea of the impermanent state of things , the caos or order, the creation or destruction has always been a leiv-motiv in my work. The ephemeral natural of sand , one of the most used materials within my work, not only remind us of the impermanence and eventually demise of any human – made structure , but of the humans who make them. In the process of work, I create large installations that I then capture on film, saving for posterity these extravagant structures- utopian dreams- too fantastic to endure. At the same time that I intent to project the illusion of purpose, sense of order, and proof of existence that we so desperately need. That same desire for systems that regiment, organize and dictate existence is evidenced , for example , in the work “ Grid”, that represents the ideal of suburbia. An small town in a kind of Monopoly style houses, installed on a plexi grid, demonstrate my interest in the suburban, artifitial environments we create for ourselves. The colors are fake, the grid is fake, the tidyness of the installation is unrealistic. In a previous series “ Departure Point”, I built roads and interchanges out of wet sand and photographed them, transforming infrastructure into a temporal construction. At the same time that I intent to present a contradictory image of order and potential collapse. In my 2007 series of photographs “ Pain is Universal But So is Hope”, I create out of sand , a ficticious city or utopian microcosms where particular historical and cultural iconography converge and fuse in the universal experience of creation and destruction. The photographic series encapsulates eight sequences from an specific” state of change” . Each photograph has a different background color, from White to the seven colors of the rainbow. With the use of these coloured backgrounds I intent to summarize the belief than in both, social and organigcs worlds, there is call after the storm. With the same course of empire, a broad landscape unfolds in time, and a civilization rises and falls. The exhibition title, too, recalls the belief that sometimes nature has to run its course: "Pain Is Universal, but So Is Hope”.
2011- “ About the Right of Being Different: The Art of Diversity and Inclusion at Progressive Art Collection” .Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage. Beachwood, Ohio. USA “ The Latinomerican Evolution”, L-M-N-T Gallery, Miami