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Studio Sunday: Jordan Casteel

A photo of Jordan Casteel in her art studio


Jordan Casteel is a New York-based painter who was born in Denver, Colorado. In her practice, Casteel focuses on portraits of people close to her, and the people in her community. Her subjects are usually young black men, and the artist’s paintings serve as a way of opening conversations around issues of racism, social responsibility, and justice.


Casteel’s studio looks bright and just the right size. It looks like the space has a few nice windows, visible on the far wall behind Casteel, that probably offer a cool view of the city below. Studio windows seem essential to me -- all that natural light, plus the view. Given Casteel’s propensity for portraiture, I can imagine that perhaps being able to watch people going about their day might come in handy.


This photo really showcases Casteel’s collection of brushes -- as is the case in many artist studios, there’s a wide range of well-used brushes. It’s neat to see them up close like this, and portrayed so close to the artworks that they helped create. I also love how happy Casteel looks in the photo! While it’s fascinating to see an artist “at work” and totally absorbed, it’s also a welcome departure to see a moment like this.


Casteel completed her master’s degree in fine art at Yale, following in the footsteps of contemporaries including Mickalene Thomas and Kehinde Wiley. Casteel was later the Artist in Residence at the Studio Museum Harlem.

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About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. She is a recent graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where she studied Critical and Cultural Practices. She is passionate about talking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In her studio practice she is a painter, but she considers herself an art writer and educator foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises

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