The female forms that Felipe Castañeda creates out of marble, onyx, and bronze embody both the traditional and modern sensibilities of Mexico. Forms of motherhood and fertility evoking the pre-Columbian culture are coupled with an abstract, stylized interpretation of sensuality that is universal in its depiction of female beauty. Castañeda transforms his subjects' contemplative expressions and simple gestures into noble artistic expressions.
Castañeda was born in La Paloma in the state of Michoacán, an area rich in pre-Columbian artifacts. As a young man he made his way to Mexico City in order to participate in the country's more contemporary artistic culture. In 1958 he entered La Esmeralda Painting and Sculpture Academy of the National Institute of Fine Arts and began to develop a distinctive style in his approach to sculpture. He finished his studies in 1963 and worked hard to achieve his first major one-man show in 1970.
Castañeda has exhibited and been recognized in his native Mexico and around the world. His commissioned public sculptures are placed in a number of Mexican cities as well as in Palm Springs, California. His work can be found in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Museum of Art History in Cuidad Juarez, Mexico, among many others. Honors, including one from UNICEF in 1980, from Israel in 1996, and from the International Academy of Modern Art in Rome in 1998 have been bestowed upon him.
Reflecting on his life experience, Castañeda still marvels at the mysteries of an artist's creation: "I still consider it a kind of miracle that forms almost identical to human beings are born out of a rock – and in some cases, the only thing lacking for them to be alive is for them to move of their own accord and speak."