Laura Castellano, also known as OpalUnicorn has created a whimsical world through her paintings featuring her wide-eyed characters.
Having a background in toy design, she ultimately gravitated towards the pop surrealism style, due to her love of fairy tales, myths, mysteries and stories of the unknown. From a young age she was drawn to story books that featured big eyed art; she felt that the eyes were the windows to new worlds that had yet to be seen and explored.
Laura eventually adopted the name OpalUnicorn, due to her obsession as a young girl with the iridescent stones, her fascination with unicorns and her connection to what they represented in striving to become more evolved and enlightened.
Each of Laura’s pieces are accompanied by a story, which holds a deeper meaning to her. Be it her alien-bot series, that are a reflection of the current sociopolitical issues or animals that speak to shamanism and carry hidden teachings for the world; they all speak to greater issues and emotions. Beautiful Bizarre has described her work as, “of the dream and spirit world and is fittingly unfettered by considerations of realistic representation.” And that it connects, “the complex feelings versus the basic nature present in all of us.”
Laura’s unique background and upbringing as a Cuban-Mexican American has also largely influenced her work. She received her BFA in Toy Design from Otis College of Art and then went on to work for 10 years for major toy brands. Eventually becoming disillusioned with the toy industry, she took the influences from her time there and began painting full time. She also spent time traveling abroad, studying ancient civilizations, becoming deeply connected to these cultural experiences and incorporating her findings into her work.
Laura’s work has been exhibited at Hive Gallery, Cactus Gallery, La Bodega Gallery, SugarMynt Gallery, La Laguna Gallery, The Studio Door, and The Vault Art Studio in the USA and Weswal Gallery in Australia and through the Artfreaks Collective, which she founded.
Laura Castellanos is a native of Los Angeles and currently resides there.