Creativity meets the eye

BONES OF STEEL is the opening exhibit for Stay Gallery’s one year anniversary; Cristian Castro’s robot consists a car buffer, a water hose, and a propane gas filter. Castro had no guidelines when creating something new from different objects.

Mizhelle Cortes, Writer/ Business Team

The Stay Gallery in the city of Downey hosted the BONES OF STEEL event on Friday, Oct. 11, where designer Cristian Castro shared his collection of hand-crafted robots. The night of the opening reception brought local art-goers and even students from around the community.


Castro’s fascination with artwork started from a young age. As a young boy in Argentina, he enjoyed watching cartoons that included robots, which ignited his curiosity. As he made his way to the United States, he made sure to remain connected to his artistic side.


The artist’s current job has enabled him to find a spark while creating unique robotic sculptures. As an industrial designer, he finds pieces from different places, such as yard sales, thrift stores, and swap meets. One of his creations called “The Magnus P-81,” uses different pieces, such as a doorbell, radio antenna, vintage film camera, and a mini fan to create a striking figure.


Since 2007, his collection of sculptures has increased. As of now, there are 14 different robotic sculptures each containing their own personality. For local first time-art viewers, like Kevin Trieber, the robots captured their attention.


“Its realism is the most striking thing and the fact the he used various parts to construct it is pretty neat,” Trieber said. “I didn’t really know what to expect.”


Although each creation has parts made from metal pieces from aircrafts, cars, boats, or self-made designs using fiber glass, they all share a similarity. Not a single statue uses plastic and Castro makes sure to give a retro feel to his creations.


The designs of Castro’s works have different functions, moving its position or creating electricity. Instead of having his art become associated with a “transformer,” he makes sure it is still considered art.


“I want to make art mixed with industrial design,” Castro said. “It is not a real robot; it is a sculpture.”


With his six year project, the majority of his time and money is spent, each sculpture taking approximately 60-70 hours. Castro lets his passion run wild as he creates designs from his mind and frees himself from any feelings of stress.


“It’s a therapy for me,” Castro said. “Everything is in my head. I put the pieces together and just start creating it.”


With Stay Gallery’s one- year anniversary, BONES OF STEEL highlighted Downey’s cultural art and attracted locals.


“I am very happy. This [Stay Gallery] is the perfect place to show my art,” Castro said. “It’s just a beginning. I would like to put my artwork in big museums like LACMA.”


For the viewers who made their way to the entrance, reasons to come to the event differed. For one couple, it was support.


“We wanted to support the local artists. It’s inspiring how Christian used recyclable materials and used it for classy, modern sculptures,” Angie Gomez said.


Even local students stopped by on the Friday night opening and stated they were glad they came. Matthew Ypez, a Downey High School senior, was among the student crowds observing the various works by Castro.


“I really like art and I was interested so I decided to go. It was actually really cool especially the giant crab that was made out of a Volkswagen car hood,” Ypez said.


Attracting a variety of people, BONES OF STEEL created an aura of uniqueness and complexity.  As the closing reception approaches on Nov. 7, the structures remain a symbol of passionate artwork.