Federico Castellón…

Federico Castellón was born on the Isla de Alborán, Almería, Spain, in 1914. His family emigrated to New York when he was just seven years old, and settled in Brooklyn, New York. [There was actually a cluster of almerienses living in Brooklyn beginning in the 1920s; after the proclamation of the Second Republic in 1931, many of them, including members of Castellón’s family, would band together to form the Grupo Salmerón, named after the President of Spain’s first Republic. More on this in a subsequent post.]
Castellón attended Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn where his prodigious artistic talent was clearly recognized. Later he would meet Diego Rivera when the great Mexican muralist was in New York working on the ill-fated mural at Rockefeller Center. Rivera, impressed with this young Spanish artist, helped Castellón get his first solo show at the Weyhe Gallery and helped him garner a Spanish Government fellowship (1934) to study painting and printmaking in Europe. Castellón returned to NY in 1937 in the midst of the Spanish Civil War, where he continued to develop as a painter, lithographer and printmaker. Though largely self-taught, Castellón was invited to join the American Academy of Design, and he taught at a number of colleges and art schools. Castellón died in 1971, with a solid reputation in the art world, as a pioneer in surrealism and a master of etching and lithographs.