rad creative of the day: fine artist jordan casteel captures mundane familiarity in unique portrait paintings

August 12, 2016

Today’s RAD CREATIVE goes out to New York-based painter Jordan Casteel. Casteel’s work is primarily comprised of surrealist portraits that, compositionally, borrow from photography and stylistically, seem to take cues from the artwork of the Harlem Renaissance. There’s definitely a romantic quality about these commonplace nature of the subjects in Casteel’s paintings and the human-ness of their figures. Warm and cold color palettes trigger mundane familiarity in a way I can’t quite pin down, haunting you and urging you to peel back the visual layers of each composition.

If her work (somehow) isn’t impressive enough, Casteel graduate from Agnes Scott College with a B.A. in Studio Art and an M.F.A. Painting and Printmaking from Yale School. Her work has been published in such outlets like Artforum, Flash Art, New York Magazine, Time Out New York, The New York Observer and Interview Magazine. Casteel is currently a resident at The Studio Museum in Harlem and will be teaching as an Assistant Professor at Rutgers University-Newark this fall.

By Erin White*, AFROPUNK contributor

Jerome *Erin White is an Atlanta-based writer and AFROPUNK’s editorial and social media assistant. You can follow her on Tumblr or friend her on Facebook. Have a pitch or an inquiry? Shoot her an email at