RAUL CASILLAS ROMO
Raul Casillas was born on August 10, 1970 in Los Angeles, California making him the 7th child of his parents 9 children. Astrologically, he was born as a "Leo, Dog, Yellow Rhythmic Seed, owl" (his Western, Chinese & Mayan signs). In the 1960s his parents immigrated to California to give birth to the first seven of their nine children. Living in LA in the 60s and 70s had a major impact on the whole family, especially the young minds of Raul and his 6 older siblings. By 1979, when he moved with his family back to Guadalajara, Mexico, where he lived for 15 years. Raul had been exposed to the multicultural Californian lifestyle, the hippie movement, skateboarding, world music and urban art and culture and the whole family took part of this back to Mexico with us.
No wonder Raul is currently a licensed tattoo artist in the State of Oregon, US, working out of "Universal Rites Tattoo" in Ashland.
It was in Guadalajara, Mexico that Raul first discovered his passion for the Arts. He was inspired by his older brothers while they made their homework for art class from school. His brother Roberto "Bobby" eventually worked as a painter restoring the ceiling of an old church downtown. His brother Victor Hugo was good at ceramics. The oldest brother Armando lived with the Huichol tribe for 5 years while doing his residency for med-school, he wrote a book on the shamanic Huichol culture, their healing practices & knowledge of the plant kingdom of their environment. Two older siblings became doctors which encouraged Raul to take his undergraduate studies in Physiotherapy, where he worked with handicap and paraplegic patients in a program integrated into the High Schools public education of The University of Guadalajara. He has been very athletic and practiced many sports, from soccer & tackle football to gymnastics & Olympic wrestling and eventually practiced breakdancing, Brazilian capoeira, African & ecstatic dance and yoga.
At the age of 19, in 1989 Raul left his family behind to return to LA where the extended family continues to live. He worked for a year in the hospitality industry and as a food sculptor for banquets at the Sheraton Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica.
Then from ages 20 to 22 he joined the crew of the Research Vessel "Heraclitus" in the Caribbean to study marine systems, navigation and marine biology. On the Heraclitus, a 100 ft. ferro-cement, 3 masted Chinese junk sailboat funded by the Institute of Eco-Technics, he studied and later worked as "Second Mate" while traveling extensively throughout the Caribbean, circulating it twice from Miami, Bahamas, Jamaica & Belize to Venezuela. The crew did research and coral reef surveys for the Planetary Coral Reef Foundation. While in the Mexican Mayan coastline, the crew would scuba dive and collect the "marine biome" for the "Biosphere 2" Project in Tuscon, Arizona, USA. They then drove it to Arizona for the creation of a microcosmic artificial ocean, complete with coral reefs plants, sand and one million gallons of enclosed ocean water. Raul was the only bilingual person that traveled in the trailors caravan up Mexico and into the "Bio 2" in the US. (www.rvheraclitus.org)
The crew of the sailboat also performed theater plays in the Caribbean exploring a wide range of skills, from the fabrication of their costumes to the stage design that included performing onboard the ship . In Venezuela Raul played the role "Moses" in Bertolt Brecht's Avant-garde play "The rise and fall of the city of Mahagonny". In Puerto Rico they also performed their own original work inspired by their journey in the Sea, featuring the real sounds of Humpback Whales recorded on board. They would also take turns with duties like cooking and entertaining each other with improvised theater skits after dinner.
He then traveled to London, England in 1992 to sprout his passion for the Arts, where he worked at the “Lundonia House” Cultural Center that hosts the “October Gallery”. Raul was the House Manager of the artist run, non profit organization that represents contemporary artist from all cultures world wide, under the supervision of Founder-Directing Manager / Curator: Judy Ann Hawes "Chilli" and co-curator/artist in residence Elizabeth Laouschek from Vienna, Austria. Representing a wide range of artist from the late writer/poet artist William S. Burroughs & Brion Gysin (New York's Beat Generation) to Ralph Steadman, Ira Cohen, Ablade Glover, Kenji Yoshida & Charles Beauchamp.
Raul returned to the Theater Stage, but now with the U.K.'s Lundonia House Collective, where he played a double roll in "The Balcony" by Parisian Avante-garde playwright Jean Genet, he also was the Produccion Designer & decorated the play's sets, as well as created his own costumes for a series of performances in the heart of London, England.
That year in London allowed Raul to travel through Europe and absorb a lot of the great collections in museums & galleries, which triggered Raul to begin experimenting with paints.
Upon his return to Guadalajara, Mexico in 1993, Raul pursued painting, experimenting self-taught with out formal academic training, as well as taking music lessons for a year to learn to play the alto saxophone.
By 1994 Raul had returned to L.A. where he worked at the “Wenger Gallery” in Santa Monica, California; representing artist like Herb Albert ( The trumpet player & painter from A&M Records), Arman, Gunther Gerzo & Jan Vanriet. Expanding further his understanding of the Art World.
He also worked at the late Aaron’s Records in Hollywood ( One of America’s largest Independent Music Stores), were he expanded and refined his knowledge of music of all genres.
Raul has also fabricated musical instruments and is a Percussionist, he plays various hand drums and can jam on a drum kit.
At the age of 25 Raul had moved North to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, after falling in love were he remained married to Jane S. for 6 years. He traveled with her through Mexico, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Greece & France. Upon his arrival into Canada, Raul went "treeplanting" for a spring & summer, planting hundreds of trees a day as far north as Alaska, camping in tents among wild bears and melting Glaciers , dramatic landscapes of beauty & forest clearcuts, satisfaying his love for giving back to Mother Earth in nurturing, sustainable & healthy ways, this time motivated by his friends Mike E. and Trent & Denise.
He also worked on Bowen Island, assisting the Nisga clan native carver Isaac Tait (rest in peace) in the creation of traditional Canadian West Coast native masks carved in wood, painted and inlayed. "I feel honored & blessed to have received this ancient knowledge of wood carving from Isaac, I feel a symbolic welcome into this native culture " all my relations", we carved overlooking the ocean on the shores of Bowen Island, perfecting ancient symmetrical designs, we created an inaugural ceremony for each mask, giving it life and welcoming it to this planet.
Then Raul discovered the early boom in the film industry in Vancouver (Hollywood North), he started working on music videos with friends in 96' and has worked steadily in the film industry for the last 13 years with unions ACFC and IATSE , working as a "Lead Set Dresser" in the Set Decoration department with decorators such as Dominique Fauquet-Lemaitre, and as a sculptor and fine art painter for film since all of his previous skills came together to allow Raul to blossom as a sculptor and lead set dresser. Raul has worked on T.V. shows & Feature Films, featuring major actors like Benicio del Toro & Halle Berry in “Things we lost in the Fire”, and David Duchovny & Gillian Andereson in the second “X-Files- I want to believe” Feature Film, Sir Ian Mckellen, Aaron Eckart and Nick Nolte in “Neverwas”, Hilary Swank & Delroy Lindo in “The Core”, Donald Sutherland in “Fierce People”, Heather Graham in “Say it isn’t So”, Al Pacino in “88 Minutes”, Elias Koteas in mini- series “Traffiic”, The Wayans Brothers in “White Chicks”, Eduard James Olmos in T.V. Series “Battlestar Galactica”, T.V. Series “Eureka” & “Cold squad", Tom Green, Nia Vardalos and More…
His involvement in Film has been Key in refining his artistic skill and maintaining a professional high output, not to mention his organization skills and Crew Leadership skills under the pressure of major deadlines for Major Productions from Steven Spielberg & Sam Mendes’s “Dreamworks”, Miramax, 20th. Century Fox, Sony, Walt Disney, Warner Brothers, Paramount, NBC, Universal Pictures, Showtime & Lions Gate Films to Jim Henson Companie’s “Muppet Movie”.
See my "FILMOGRAPHY" page for complete details.
As an Artist Raul has been influenced by all the Cultures that he has traveled to and beyond.
“I consider my travels through this Planet as some of my most valuable “education”- Real Life Experience, getting a deeper taste of other cultural values and adopting some to one self.
From Egypt, Israel, Jordan to Bali in Indonesia, Europe and Latin America, through more than 20 Countries, Raul has allowed this Planet to affect him so that he can affect it back.
Raul played percussion's for 2 years with Vancouver's "Carnival Band" at many anti-war /peace rallies & community events, performing in many musical styles from around the world from samba and salsa to african & gypsy.
Most recently he has been attracted and inspired by the current "Visionary Art Movement" aka "Interdimentional" or "Fantastic Realism", re-introduced by fellow artist Luke Brown, they have been in many group shows together and co-created a music video with many other awesome artist such as Carey Thompson and Mariano, Arrow One in Bali, Indonesia. Working on the "Ben Ben Stone" adventure video was blast, I enjoyed the tribal hip-hop Bali/USA fusion that manifested. (You can see this video by clicking on the picture in my "filmography" page.
Raul’s first Group Show with the Movement was at “InVision 3.0” Full Moon Festival in Roberts Creek, just outside his home of Vancouver, B.C. Many great memories come from co-creating and celebrating Life with other artist such as Cody Chancellor & Jen, and all the awesome Dj’s & community of the Sunshine Coast.
He has particularly been influenced and inspired by the Surrealist Movement with artist such as Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte and others like Hieronymus Bosch, Ernst Haeckel, Giusseppe Archimboldo, Diego Velasquez, Manet, Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros, as well as “The Symbolist” : Auguste Rodin, Alphonse Mucha, Gustav Klimt, William Blake & Jean Delville.
Raul has developed a passion to live in a fusion of Spirituality, Natural Conscience and Arts & Culture, with the wild imagination of the Fantastic Realist Visionary and the Shamanic mind, Meditating between Plants, Animals & Humans in this Cosmos of interconnected energy fields. He has explored a wide range of topics such as Enlightenment, Poverty & Homelessness; War, Communication, Dance & the Human ecological footprint on Earth, Global Warming, Third World & Ancient Cultures and Shammanism & Spirituality.
A trip to California was due to his participation with the Visionary Art & Culture Event
"SYNERGENESIS" in San Francisco, California ( Nov. 2004). An event that crystallized his initial connection with artist such as Robert Venosa, Martina Hoffmann, Carey Thompson, J. Garcia, Mark Henson & Roman Villagrana.
Raul's first Canadian Gallery representation emerged from a group exhibition in Toronto at Meta Gallery ( www.metagallery.com ) in a group show titled "Mapmakers - Visions in contemporary art"
Sep - Oct 2008. Showing with 15 artist such as Kris Kuksi, Alex Grey, Robert Venosa, Luke Brown, Mars 1 & Oliver Vernon. In this show Raul revealed "Entanglement on the verge of extinction".
2009 was a great year for Raul because he was able to attend & exhibit in many places in the USA,
From May until the end of June of 2009 Raul attended the first Interdimensional Art Show Tour, curated by Jenifer Ingram & Tribe 13, which traveled from San Francisco to Seattle and ending up in Eugene, Oregon for a Month long show at Fenario Gallery.
Then in December '09 Raul was present in Florida, for the "Moksha Art Fair" that was during the week of Art Basel Miami, an Annual International gathering of more than 250 Art Galleries. Later that summer Raul went on a road trip from Vancouver, Canada to California with fellow artist Autumn Skye Morrison & Luke Brown to exhibit at "Symbiosis Gathering" and "Earthdance" in California, two of the most awesome music & art festivals Raul has ever been.
From January to March 2010 Raul participated in his first Gallery Group Show in his native Los Angeles, California, at "The Temple of Visions" Gallery & Sacred Space. www.templeofvisions.com
a show that included many awesome artist and a place where friendship continued among artist like Autumn Skye Morrison, Xavi, Orion, Amanda Sage, David Heskin & Aloria Weaver, Michael Divine, Adam Scott Miller & Andrew Jones.
Raul also participated in Hawaii's first "Alchemeyez" Visionary Art Congress on the Big Island, Featuring Alex & Allyson Grey & Robert Venosa, Martina Hoffmann & Mark Henson.
Raul's painting "Entanglement on the verge of extincion" will be on display for an entire year long exhibition at "The American Visionary Art Museum" in Baltimore, Maryland, starting October 6 2011, in a group show titled "All things round" among with over 100 other intuitive & self-taught artist. This is Rauls first Museum show.
Rauls art work has been published in some magazines and books, see the "exhibitions" page for more details.
In 2012, Raul took a 7 Month tattoo apprenticeship at the "Forbidden School of Body Art" in Portland , and is now a licensed tattoo artist in the State of Oregon, working out of "Universal Rites Tattoo" studion in Ashland, Oregon. ( www.universalrites.com )
Raul got his first tattoo at 18 in Guadalajara, Mexico and he gave himself his first tattoo in 2012
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