Lyell Castonguay’s woodcuts marries the traits of reality and fiction. In his current series, he uses eccentric contours of relief to distort the familiar imagery of birds into allegorical beasts. Their forms are fanciful exaggerations – a synthesis of the artist’s avian encounters blended with mythology. These creatures depicted in portraiture and piled masses exude ferocity and restlessness. They are personified predators eager to confront the viewer’s imagination. All of them comprise Castonguay’s personal bestiary of larger than life birds.
Castonguay’s prints are often monumental. His visual language incorporates transparent colors and complex patterning. The artist’s inspirations are eclectic and range from riffs on compositions by Audubon to traditional Chinese brush painting.