Castro NYC is an artist that takes fantasy, reverie, illusion, shamanistic dreams and twists and casts them into gold, bone, diamonds, turquoise, leather, emeralds, rubies; deferring all the rules in his very own reign.
You wouldn't guess it by thumbing through, but a couple of decades already have gone by, in countless flashes and clicks, since the first issue ever of Dazed & Confused was gifted to a London on fire with the promise of the 90s, of UK garage and Cool Britannia. Luckily though, we can trust the British appetite for their Bright Young Things not to have faded once since the 1920s, and as long as we'll have Rankin to pick them up from the crowd and frame them for us, we'll be alright. Now in its 6th issue, his youngest Hunger is true to its name: uncompromised and indulgent, it keeps feeding us talent and footlights. Photographer and publisher extraordinaire, Rankin told me a bit about his roots, about film and confidence and printed matters, and the latest book he's now working on, "Fuck You Rankin".
S.B.: Currently on shelf across the country, Hunger issue 6 celebrates the pride and joy in being British, nowadays almost as much of an attitude as it is inherent. A traditional kind of restlessness and flair, a Lost Boys' sort of perpetual youth. Being Scottish yourself, and from Glasgow no less, how do you reckon your roots to have influenced your personality, your views and your success?
R.: Yeah being Scottish is of course a massive influence, it's those formative years that are really important. When I was younger, we actually moved around quite a bit with my Dad's job, so although I was born and spent the first 10 years of my life in Glasgow, we later relocated to North Yorkshire then finally onto St. Albans in Hertfordshire. We were lower-middle class and so my only connection with art or culture at that time was through watching film. My dad would often take me to the cinema and I found myself really seduced by the imagery, I think this had a massive impact on how I viewed the world. I remember driving around with my parents when I was little and looking out of the window and being very aware that it was the shape of a film screen when you went to the cinema. This was how I first saw the world, framed through a car window.
My Dad also taught me that the English upper class are sent to school to be taught to be confident, whereas in Glasgow you’re born confident. I’ve always thought that pretty much summed me up. Born confident.
Last week I attended a thoughtful and laugh-out-loud funny performance by Sameer Reddy entitled The Idiots--a metaphysical game show. It was staged upstairs at the Williamsburg, Brooklyn restaurant ISA--a cozy room with an old-fashioned wood-burning stove and a mysterious proliferation of Navajo blankets. Clairvoyant cocktails made with sage were proffered. Sameer was assisted by performance artist Seung-Min Lee.