Lead Photo: Glass Butterfly by Marlene Rose, Painting by Lorna Marsh, Sculpture by Marc Sija
Aldo Castillo has a secret superpower: He can sense what type of art a community is ready for based on how it’s developing. That special sense led the seasoned international art curator and adviser to open Aldo Castillo Gallery in October on Fifth Avenue South in Naples.
“It took me nine years to make the move to Naples,” says Castillo, who also has a self-titled gallery at the Miromar Design Center. That’s because now, he said, more people seem to be enjoying the city year-round than as a seasonal escape from chilly northern winters. “It is still a hidden jewel with very sophisticated people, but the look is more international.”
The diverse community may call for the kind of contemporary works Castillo has gathered to fill his new, 1,704-square-foot gallery.
“I give artists the freedom to create in whatever medium they want,” Castillo says. In October, the unit featured art by Augusto Esquivel, who makes sculptures out of buttons, and Mariana Monteagudo, who forms dolls from mixed media.
Aldo Castillo Gallery lets the bold art speak for itself, with crisp white walls, light wood floors and clean lines creating a minimalist backdrop. Natural light floods in from the oversized front windows, which help draw in shoppers from the street.
Castillo, who opened his first gallery in Chicago in 1993 and has directed art fairs from Miami to Shanghai, based the location’s look off his global experience.
“I wanted to give the gallery an architectural feel, like a loft in SoHo, New York, or London, where you see a gallery in this lofty, raw space,” he says. “When you come to the gallery, contemporary art is surrounded by architecture that matches.”
The gallery is located in one of the properties owned by David Hoffmann, chairman of Hoffmann Commercial Real Estate and founder of Osprey Capital LLC, who, with his family, owns multiple hospitality-centered spaces in the area. Castillo thanked him for helping bring the new space to life. “Mr. Hoffmann understands the power of art,” he says.
Naples is undoubtedly making more room for the industry, with a dedicated design district and more creative spaces cropping up. And Aldo Castillo Gallery may drive
that growth even further.
“The whole area of Southwest Florida, especially Naples, is looking forward to a bright new contemporary future,” he says. “That’s why I made the move here.”
Aldo Castillo Gallery, 634 Fifth Avenue South, Naples, aldocastillogallery.com