For Immediate Release
September 7, 2017
Surrealist VINCENT CASTIGLIA Memorializes GREGG ALLMAN in Portrait Painted with Late Musician’s Own Blood – Striking Art Included in Southern Blood Deluxe Package/Vinyl First Edition
GREGG ALLMAN’s Southern Blood out this Friday, September 8th:
Rounder Records will release late music legend GREGG ALLMAN’s final studio album, Southern Blood, this Friday, September 8. The deluxe package and first run of the vinyl will include a visually stunning, heartfelt painting that Allman and his daughter Layla Brooklyn commissioned from award-winning surrealist VINCENT CASTIGLIA. The beautiful portrait (based on a photograph by Neal Preston and pictured above) was painted with Allman’s actual blood and the blood of his children – making for an extremely personal, one-of-a-kind, and everlasting tribute, and ultimately inspiring the title of the new album itself. A limited edition numbered double-sided picture disc will be available at local record shops or with pre-orders of the album via http://found.ee/GASouthernBloodD2C.
Watch a special time-lapse video of Castiglia painting the portrait now, exclusively via Yahoo Music: https://www.yahoo.com/music/see-late-gregg-allman-immortalized-portrait-created-blood-160951026.html
“Southern Blood” isn’t the first piece of VINCENT CASTIGLIA’s art to be commissioned by Allman, but it is undoubtedly the most significant and impactful. On Christmas Eve of 2015 – after the idea was initially conceived by his daughter, Layla Brooklyn – Allman personally asked Castiglia if he would be interested in painting his portrait as album art for Southern Blood.
“I was completely blown away, and the proposal was met with an immediate and unequivocal YES. This is the single most important work I’ve ever painted, for two of the loveliest people I’ve had the opportunity to connect with in this life,” says Castiglia.
After receiving the shipment of Allman’s blood vials a few months later, the blood remained in Castiglia’s refrigerator for the following year, only to be used after Allman’s untimely passing. “When Gregg shipped me the vials of his blood, no one could have foreseen what was to come – that ultimately the painting wouldn’t be created until his after his passing,” adds Castiglia. “Painting Gregg’s portrait in his and his children’s blood, memorializing him posthumously, was one of the most emotively intense experiences.”
GREGG ALLMAN’s daughter, Layla Brooklyn, says that the genesis of the Southern Blood portrait occurred when her father told her about a work of art he had commissioned, “Gravity”, that utilized the artists’ own blood. Layla Brooklyn was captivated by this process and needed to meet the man behind it – and thus, her friendship with Castiglia was born.
“After becoming friends with Vincent, I began entertaining the idea of a musician surrendering their own blood to his paintbrush,” says Layla Brooklyn. “A few years ago, I invited him to the studio when my metal band was tracking sessions for a record that I didn’t end up releasing. I tucked the art concept away. Upon listening to the early stages of my father’s Muscle Shoals sessions, I knew this concept was perfect visual representation for what would be my father’s last body of work on many levels. I introduced the two artists and suggested to my father he send Vincent vials of his own blood to save for his yet to be titled record. He did it, and nearly a year later, the title Southern Blood popped into my head to tie it all together. The story, the music, the painting and my dad’s fight to keep playing music when he became ill represent his dedication, passion and contribution, not only in metaphorically giving his blood to the fans for decades, but literally. Our whole family is in awe of Vincent’s expertise in capturing the spirit of his subjects and concepts using a monochromatic palette with a haunting twist. My father had penchant for collecting strange treasures in his travels and creating a uniquely beautiful ambiance with them. So, it comes as no surprise that Vincent’s work found its way into his home and into our family.”
VINCENT CASTIGLIA says that while one may assume this painting is important to him because of Allman’s musical legacy, additionally and somewhat alternatively, it’s because of the grassroots grit and unrelenting heart, soul, sincerity and integrity of the man himself. “Working with the very last of what was physically left of [Gregg] is just difficult to put into words. My immense respect for him and the project became palpable and was amplified exponentially as soon as I put brush to canvas. I was transforming his life force, his physicality, into his visage. And knowing this was his and his family’s will and having them entrust me in this enormous and incommunicable way was just one of the greatest honors of my life, one which I’m so grateful to Gregg and the Allman family for.”
Southern Blood serves as a remarkable final testament from an artist whose contributions have truly shaped rock & roll throughout the past four decades. GREGG ALLMAN’s first all-new recording since 2011’s GRAMMY® Award-nominated solo landmark, Low Country Blues, the album is among the most uniquely personal of the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer’s career, an emotionally expansive collection of songs written by friends and favorite artists including Jackson Browne, Willie Dixon, Jerry Garcia & Robert Hunter, Lowell George and Spooner Oldham & Dan Penn, meant to serve as a salutary farewell to his legion of devoted fans and admirers. Allman collaborated on his closing project with manager and dear friend Michael Lehman and GRAMMY® Award-winning producer Don Was, a longtime acquaintance and staunch supporter committed to helping the rock icon actualize his very specific aspirations. Though his loss leaves a vast musical space that can never truly be filled, Southern Blood stands tall as a remarkable valedictory and memorial to a true giant of American music, now and forever.
For more information on VINCENT CASTIGLIA and his work, please visit www.vincentcastigliaart.com, and visit www.greggallman.com for more information on GREGG ALLMAN and Southern Blood.
About VINCENT CASTIGLIA:
Award-winning surrealist VINCENT CASTIGLIA has garnered mainstream attention throughout the last decade with his shocking, meticulously-detailed art painted in human blood. In the privacy of his studio, Castiglia practices a kind of modern-day phlebotomy, siphoning the life force which contains his own psychic energy, while giving it an outlet and form. In doing so, he dissolves the barrier between artist and art in a most literal and immediate sense. Castiglia’s figures, their musculature and skin, are painted with what could be thought of as “liquid flesh”. Its tendency to quicken the subjects is likely inapproachable by any other medium—as it is actual tissue with which it is being rendered. In this way, the subject’s realism is not merely an optical illusion due to its level of detail, but rather is an actual transference of flesh and blood to each work.
Castiglia has been featured by the likes of The National Geographic Channel (NatGeo), Fox News, CNBC, BBC, New York 1 News, Fox News “Good Day New York”, The Discovery Channel, New York Post, The Huffington Post, International Business Times and countless other reputable television channels and publications. Castiglia has created cover art for well-known albums and films, painted pieces for entertainment legends such as Gregg Allman and Margaret Cho, and was even the first American artist to receive a solo exhibition invitation from Oscar Award-winning artistH.R. Giger in the history of the H. R. Giger Museum Gallery. Earlier last year, Castiglia also made headlines after hand-painting Slayer/Exodus guitarist Gary Holt’s signature ESP guitarwith the Holt’s own blood. The guitar made its debut at the January 2016 NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA.
Castiglia’s impressive work can be witnessed in mediums throughout the entertainment world. MTV New Media’s Horror-Slasher Film, Savage County, featured his art as its official movie poster, depicting the three murderers in the film. Prior to the film, Castiglia painted album art for heavy metal band Triptykon’s 2010 debut release, Eparistera Daimones.Triptykon is founded by former Hellhammer / Celtic Frostsinger and guitarist Tom Gabriel Fischer. Castiglia also painted the DVD cover for Fangoria Presents film, Corpsing.
As briefly touched upon above, Castiglia’s work hangs in many distinguished collections, and his paintings have been exhibited at museums and galleries in the US, and internationally.
About GREGG ALLMAN:
GREGG ALLMAN was undoubtedly among rock and roll’s greatest and most significant artists, his soul-fired and still utterly distinctive voice one of the defining sounds in all of American music. From his founding role in the one and only Allman Brothers Band to his long and storied solo career, Allman consistently proved himself to be an iconic singer/songwriter and exceptional practitioner of the American blues tradition. Allman accrued a remarkable list of honors over his five-decade career, including the ABB’s 1995 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award at the 54th Annual GRAMMY® Awards. Allman detailed his brilliant career in 2012’s acclaimed memoir, My Cross To Bear. Now available in both hardcover and paperback, the New York Times bestseller chronicles an astonishing life and creative journey burdened by unimaginable loss, alcohol and drug addiction, told with clear-eyed wisdom and sharp hindsight.