DARIO CASTILLEJOS, AN AGITATOR OF CRITICAL AWARENESS
by Francisco PUNAL SUAREZ / Spain.
Corruption, injustice and arbitrariness that he witnessed as a lawyer in court – he studied law at the Autonomous University Benito Juarez of Oaxaca (UABJO) – led the Mexican Dario Castillejos Lázcares to express his indignation by the cartoon. The harsh reality of his country and the world, surpassing all expectations, became his main raw material, to express, through art of drawing, his irreverence and criticism of the established power, whether political or economic.
Born in Oaxaca in 1974, Castillejos, who has spent 25 years as a cartoonist in Mexico, where there is a great historical tradition in this genre, with authors such as Rius, Rogelio Naranjo, Helio Flores, Luis Carreño, and many others who have influenced his work, he is an agitator of critical consciousness, with each drawing published. Readers of the newspaper El Imparcial de Oaxaca are looking forward, in every issue, his opinion artworks. Dario also publishes his cartoons in the magazine Foreign Affairs Latin American and the weekly El Chamuco, and works for Caglecartoons, Courrier International, VJ Movement agencies, and he is the President of the Club of Caricature America Cartonclub.
His cartoons have been awarded and applauded in competitions held in Brazil, Greece, Portugal, France, Peru, Colombia, United States, Turkey, Holland and certainly in Mexico, where he accumulates several state journalism awards.
2016 is a happy year for Dario: recently Almacia Publishing House has published his first book “Impresiones de un mundo desdibujado” (Impressions of a blurred world) and just received the National Journalism Award in the category of caricature, with his work “Historical truth” corresponding 2015. it is the third time he gets this award: in 2012 it was with “Funeral Elections”, reflecting the climate of violence in the country on election days; and in 2014 it was with “Justice in crisis,” another deficit in Mexico.
Dario Castillejos and his book
His book “Impressions of a blurred world,” which has been very well received, it is a compilation of artworks published in various media, from 2000 to the present, and includes a hundred cartoons, in which with his incisive look, with ingredients of the absurd, black humor, irony and satire, the author analyzes world events, injustice and violence, freedom and censorship, and the crisis and money, fame and culture, and society.
His drawings, which impress the reader by its content, its artistic wealth and impeccable technique, confirm that true art is a provocation, and that the value of a cartoon lies in breaking stereotypes and exercise the mind.
“I like to refer myself” – expresses Dario – “to the issues that cause our discomfort, those in the public rumor, as poor administration of justice, crime, drug trafficking, etc. I always try to approach politics with a critical and humorous look, with the intention not only to report but that they can do a brainstorming exercise in each cartoon. Our work is a social counterweight to power in all its manifestations. Criticism is necessary in a society that aspires to democracy, and humor is a good stimulant to raise awareness. The cartoon in Mexico has a long tradition in the press, however, currently, many cartoonists can not live of his work. In addition, the climate of violence and despair afflicting the country has jeopardized all media workers, including cartoonists”.
Francisco PUNAL SUAREZ
(* Author of the article is renowned Spanish journalist and photographer)
SOME ARTWORKS BY DARIO CASTILLEJOS
(For fullscreen presentation in “Slideshow” mode click under the picture to such button)