Mighty Joe Castro is an accomplished Philadelphia based collage artist, musician (Mighty Joe Castro and the Gravamen) and designer. His artwork has been shown in galleries and art spaces across the United States, Canada, and Europe. They have been described as “a controlled explosion, aggressive and pensive (Kolaj Magazine)” and “bold and diverse… one of those collage artists whose works you recognize immediately… (Toombes.com).” He is a signature member of the National Collage Society.
Born in New York, he spent his formative years in Delaware where he was the guitar player in several bands including Nero (OPF), Swingline and the critically acclaimed The Situation. Formed in 2001 with singer-songwriter Christopher Tucker, The Situation signed with Elephant Stone records in 2004, releasing The Reece Nasty EP, followed by their self titled full length in 2006, both garnered critical praise from Pitchfork, The Big Takeover,Skyscraper and Magnet. The band toured the states, and opened for bands such as The Strokes, The Libertines, Nada Surf, BJM, The Make-Up and Arthur Lee & Love. Their music has been featured on shows for both MTV and Fuel TV. The group disbanded in 2006. Christopher Tucker passed away in 2008.
Taking a keen interest in the visual representation of the band, he was responsible for most of the group’s flyers and album graphics and soon found he was receiving as much notice for his art and t-shirt designs as for his guitar playing. In 2006, he began to show his paintings in area galleries. In 2010, he was one of 6 artists selected (from over 450 applicants) by Vans and Color Magazine to customize one pair of canvas sneakers, which were displayed in art shows in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto.
His work has been featured in The Age of Collage: Contemporary Collage in Modern Art (Gestalten), Arkitip (0062), The Baffler (issues 35 & 45), Esquire, GQ Style, Glamour, Kolaj Magazine, The Artist Catalogue (cover artist – Fall 2013), Z2A: A Collage Alphabet (Benzene Editions) 50/50 (Collage Collective Co./Hanker Magazine), Color Magazine (Canada), as well as on a board series for Element skateboards. In 2018, he published Everything We Love is Slowly Becoming Fiction, a 10 year retrospective book of his collage art and interviews.
His latest musical project, Mighty Joe Castro and the Gravamen released their critically acclaimed debut album, Come On Angels! in 2020. They previously released the Wake Up, You’re Rockin’ EP in 2018. They tour regularly.
When not working on new paintings and collages, he runs his own graphic design business where he has created gig posters for bands such as The Districts, She & Him, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Delta Spirit, Sturgill Simpson, Echo and the Bunnymen, Death Cab for Cutie and Pavement. He has won numerous awards for his design work, which has been featured in Graphic Design USA. He has directed music videos for The Sky Drops, Curly Castro, and Zilla Rocca. He was a board member of the Wilmington Skate Project, where he curated two benefit art shows, one of which was featured on Fuel TV’s What’s Happening with Chris Pastras show.