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James Castle (1899-1977) was an American artist who found inspiration in the detritus of everyday life, primarily in the materials he collected from his family’s home such as envelopes, packaging, advertisements and matchbooks. Working mostly with soot, spit and homemade tools, he was able to create a rich, complex style that was wholly his own. Castle was born deaf and had limited means of communication. However, thanks to the support of his family, he had dedicated space, supplies and plenty of time to make art. Though he did not gain recognition for his art until the 1950s, Castle’s work is now exhibited in museums and galleries across the world.