Opening at Koplin del Rio Gallery.
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National Museum of Mexican Art
1852 West 19th Street
Chicago, IL 60608
Read my write up on Mr. Valadez’s exhibition when it debuted at Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (@ La Jolla) in 2012
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Here is a list compiled of the Top 5 exhibitions I here at CHICANO ART MOVEMENT blog have attended in 2012. There were no board members or a prestigious art magazine imposing their influence on CAM. I decided on and viewed every exhibition myself or with friends in tow. I had partaken in a total sixteen gallery and museum exhibitions in Southern California area in 2012. Out of those sixteen I selected the most memorable five. I do not have a criteria to just attend Chicano art related events, as I also have an appreciation for Modern and other contemporary art movements.
1) John Valadez: SANTA ANA Condition - Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego at La Jolla (MCASD La Jolla) Jun 10, 2012 through Sep 02, 2012
I chose John Valadez: SANTA ANA Condition as my #1 pick, this survey was the best visually curated show that I attended in 2012. The water theme pieces selected and the ocean front view from MCASD La Jolla made SANTA ANA Condition flow flawlessly from one art piece to the next at this venue. Mr. Valadez’s artwork is thought provoking and visually amazing.
2) In Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States - Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) January 29, 2012–May 6, 2012
Kay Sage (United States, 1898-1963)
All I should have to say is Frida Kahlo and Remedios Varo being exhibited together at LACMA. This was also my first time viewing so many of Frida Kahlo’s artworks in one place, the masterpiece that made this exhibition memorable had to be “Las Dos Fridas”. I never knew how massive this work was until I stood in front of it in person at this exhibit. Being situated in front of this Pièce de résistance made me understand why so many artist reinterpret this Frida Kahlo oil on canvas.
3) Alice Bag: Alice Bag reads from her book “Violence Girl” and performs small acoustic set - AAA Electra 99 Gallery (Anaheim CA) - ONE NIGHT ONLY August 16, 2012 (AAA Electra 99 Galleries last Anaheim event)
My #3 pick goes to legendary punk rocker, Alice Bag’s one night appearance for her book “Violence Girl” East L.A. Rage to Hollywood Stage, A Chicana Punk Story at AAA Electra 99 Gallery. Alice read from a few chapters in her book and performed a small set with a three piece band. What made this great for me was the intimate setting it took place in and the amazing performance by Mrs. Bag. If you ever have an opportunity to attend a performance by Alice I highly recommend you partake in it.
4) Smogtown Presents: Chaz Bojorquez: “End Of The World” - Plaza De La Raza, Boathouse Gallery December 21, 2012 - January 31st, 2013
I had been waiting to attend my first solo exhibition by Chaz Bojorquez for many years. One of my opportunities came this year when his “From The Streets To The Cloud” exhibition in Chicago, IL at the National Museum of Mexican Art (NMMA) in November, but the great distance from CA to IL and the lack of the all mighty dollar voided this show from me attending. Luckily on December 21st I had a second chance to see my first Chaz solo art show. Prior to this exhibit I had only been able to view single pieces in group shows, but when I heard about “End Of The World” I knew I had to attend this incredible exhibit in Lincoln Park, California. Chaz’s work was exceptional, from his behemoth canvas paintings to his limited edition “Señor Suerte” skate decks. Bravo Mr. Bojorquez!
5) “Maldita Frontera” (Damn Border): Artists from Mexico - Orange County Center For Contemporary Art (OCCCA) July 7- 28th, 2012
Eduardo Kintero - “El encobijado” 2012 instalacion, acrillco y encobijado 244 x 244 x 244 cm
“Maldita Frontera” was a group show that consisted of four border artists Ramon Carillo, Pablo Castaneda, Fernando Garcia Rivas and Eduardo Kintero. I learned about this exhibition at OCCCA a week prior the show closing, so attending was high on my priorities list for that week. I was very interested how our brothers interpreted life on their side of the border. What I did not expect was this astounding, surprising, stunning, staggering, shocking exhibition by these four artist in showing Orange County, California. OCCCA is an immense art space, and these artist used every bit of wall space wisely, and even used the floors and ceilings. Mr. Eduardo Kintero even created a permanent outdoor tile mural on the north side of the gallery. Good show gentlemen.
Special recognition goes out to Avenue 50 Studio’s “Resurrected Histories” exhibition January 14 through February 5, 2012
Most anticipated future exhibitions: Carlos Alamaraz retrospective and Thomas Hart Benton exhibition at LACMA in 2014/15.
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Payasa 1978-80 digital print on archival paper 25 X 16 1/2 in
JOHN VALADEZ - SANTA ANA CONDITION:
through Sep 02, 2012
MCASD La Jolla
700 Prospect Street
La Jolla, CA 92037-4291
On a very beautiful August day, my hot date and I took a trip to La Jolla, California to view John Valadez’s,”SANTA ANA CONDITION:” at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego La Jolla.
I have been waiting to attend this exhibition since first hearing about in January from Mr. Valadez at the opening reception of “Resurrected Histories: Voices from the Chicano Arts Collectives of Highland Park” exhibition at Avenue 50 Studio in Highland Park C.A. This exhibition and Mr. Carlos Alamaraz’s show coming up at the Vincent Prince Art Museum in Monterey Park, CA are the two shows that have brought some excitement to this follower of the Chicano Art Movement this year.
(left) Getting Them Out Of The Car 1984 pastel on paper 50 X 100 in (right) Santa Ana Condition 1985 pastel on paper 52 X 121 1/2 in
Upon entering MCASD La Jolla I was instantly hit with the amazing color used by Mr. Valadez on massive pieces of paper. As I got closer to the first works on paper my eyes got bigger and so did my smile. Mr. Valadez’s Pastel works and his photography pieces are my favorite of his various mediums he is amazing at. Mr. John Valadez’s water themed pieces coexist perfect with this venue, as you can see in the image I took (below) of the spectacular multi-million dollar view. This was also my very first time viewing so many works by Mr. Valadez in one place. Prior to this exhibition I had only seen his colored street series photographs jointly, so for me to tour so many pieces in one place was a ocular delight.
The view from MCASD La Jolla is worth the admission alone.
Dr. Davies (MCASD Director) can I move in and be the guardian of this spectacular view unitl the show runs? I promise not to have too big of party (maybe).
Having attended Santa Ana Condition on a weekday for me was sublime, with easy to find parking and a minimal of museum goers made the experience for me that much more enjoyable.
Being able to examine and appriciate the works of art at your own pace is always great right?
A few of the first pieces that grabbed my attention were from Mr. Valadez’s Car Show Series of artworks. I have never partaken in a lowrider carshow event (I like my cars sporty), but having seen videos and heard stories from friends who had attended, I think Mr. John Valadez catpures these events very vividly.
MCASD Education department produced an audio guide for the exhibit. To listen to an excerpt of Mr. Valadez’s interview about the carshow scene paintings dial: 858-384-3321 then #29 to listen.
Car Show 2001 oil on canvas 76 X 96 1/4 in
The Pièce de résistance for me though was “Mesoamerica.” With its surrealist qualities and the dipiction of a civilization form its beginings to modern day, Mr. Valadez’s Right Encephalon Entophic vision make this masterpiece one that will stay lodged into this artgoers visual memory. I first caught a glimpse of this piece transitioning from one wing of the gallery to the other, restraining myself from going off course to view, I focused straight ahead onto the next wonderful Valadez work. Arriving in front of “Mesoamerica” with much anticipation built up, I knew it was worth the wait. This pastel on paper was the beauty of the ball for this artlover.
As a whole this show was very a satisfying event and was curated excetionally by MCASD, the spectacular choice of photography and original artworks made the exhibition flow flawlessly. I highly suggest attendance to Santa Ana Condition at the Museum of Contemporay San Diego La Jolla which runs until September 2, 2012. If you attend and enjoy the exhibit as much I did Purchase the catalog, it contains detailed insight by Mr. Valadez and the MCASD curators on the artworks in the exhibited in show. Even if you do not attend JOHN VALADEZ - SANTA ANA CONDITION: MCASD La Jolla, but would still like to own a copy of this catalog purchase HERE.
I would like to thank the freindly staff at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego La Jolla
More photos of JOHN VALADEZ - SANTA ANA CONDITION: exhibition at Chicano Art Movement Facebook Page.
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SANTA ANA CONDITION: JOHN VALADEZ 1976 TO 2011
Jun 10, 2012 through Sep 02, 2012 at MCASD La Jolla
John Valadez is widely considered the most significant artist to have developed a realist pictorial language recording the Chicano experience in Los Angeles during the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s. His work has come to define the iconography of Chicano identity of the period, situating it within the changing dynamics of the city rather than nostalgically attempting to reconstruct a mythical and distant past. His style is derived from street photography as he records the life of his community and of other inhabitants of downtown Los Angeles. Yet, his interest in the documentary photographic tradition is also closely related to the use of this genre by experimental L.A. artists who, since the 1960s when portable cameras became ubiquitous, have directed their lenses toward artistic ends. Valadez turned the ordinary snapshot into a source for his portrayal of a large, diverse cast of urban inhabitants drawn from his everyday life. Born in Los Angeles in 1951, Valadez began as a muralist, in which he presented themes of invisible borders and histories binding together Spanish, Mexican, and American culture. Valadez’s intense and colorful artworks express the Chicano experience in a contemporary representational style infused with elements of magical realism. His virtuoso pastel drawings present intense contrasts: the formal and narrative interpretations resemble unlikely photographs that offer social commentary on everyday urban life.
Santa Ana Condition: John Valadez 1976 to 2011 is the first survey exhibition of this important Mexican-American artist and muralist, who has had profound influence on the Chicano art movement in the United States. This exhibition spans 35 years of Valadez’s photographs, paintings, pastels, and other works on paper. Santa Ana Condition: John Valadez 1976 to 2011 presents, for the first time, the development of Valadez’s studio works: from his early use of documentary and street photography to the influence of European baroque and rococo painting and sculpture, and finally, to his more recent amalgamation of photography-based imagery with a spatial and temporal structure pointing towards Surrealism. The exhibition explores the specific documentary implications of Valadez’s paintings, pastels, and drawings of the late 1970s and early 1980s, and their later evolution into cityscapes imbued with his desire to depict the nitty-gritty of urban life in L.A. and its ethnic underclass.
Pastels and paintings from the 1990s and 2000s will also be included in the exhibition. These works, which depart from his earlier strict adherence to deadpan representation towards a more baroque compositional structure, are marked by a need to push the boundaries of structure and style. Memory, desire, intuition, and humor blend in these masterfully accomplished works on canvas and paper, which are thrust by their very excess into a territory that materializes a personal iconography beyond the limits of cultural identity. In his later works, Valadez aims to make familiar the unfamiliar—whether dreams and fantasies, or the cultural identity of others.
This exhibition is not to be missed, from my prevoius conversations with Mr. Valadez there will be many pieces from private collections that have not been seen by the public for many years on view in this exhibit. For more info of events in conjucton with this exhibition visit: MCASD
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image: Chaz Bojorquez @ MOCA L.A. “Art In The Streets” 2011
Radio Sombra is a community based radio station housed at the Centro de Communicación Comunitaria in Boyle Heights, Califas. Programming is created by the community and for the community.
Here are two interviews via Radio Sombra with Chicano artist John M. Valadez and Chaz Bojorquez. They are both interviewed by Tropico de Nopal gallery co-owner Reyes Rodriguez. Both artist tell great stories about their art careers and they let you in with some of the music they like that was the soundtrack to their lives.
Art & Grooves interview with John Valadez click (HERE)
Art & Grooves interview with Chaz Bojorquez click (HERE)
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JOHN VALADEZ - Summer Festivals in Orange County, 1998 (Mural) - Oil on Canvas, 15 x 70 ft., Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse and Office Building, Santa Ana, California
About the mural:
The curved “Piano wall” in the pavillion, “We The People: Summer Festivals of Orange County.” The epic mural painted by John Valadez, brings people of Orange County- their cultures, history and traditions- inside the courthouse in a visually dramatic way.
For the mural’s central metapjor, Valadez chose summer festivals - the community’s celebrations of its history, traditions, and rich mix of cultures. He spent a year attending festivals throughout the county and researching its history, economy, and social development. Two more years were required to bring the work from sketch to completion. Painted in oils on canvas, the mural comprises 7 panels; its total size 15 feet by 70 feet.
Artist John Valadez was born in Los Angeles, and earned his bachelors degree of Fine Arts at California State University, Long Beach. He has achieved an international artistic reputation. He has exhibited widley in the US and Europe, and in 1987 he was selected as the first American artist to receive an artist-in-residence fellowship at the Foundation of Art D’La Napoule in France. His other honors have included the 1994 Getty Fellowship Award from the California Community Arts Foundation and the 1996 General Services Adminstration Design Award for the El Paso Mural Project.
The times I have spoke to Mr. Valadez have been mainly about this mural and its exact location. I heard this mural existed years back and also heard you needed security clearance to view (not true). Inbetween learning about the location of the mural Mr. John Valadez also shared some good stories with me. One story I remember about this mural Mr. Valadez told me is that his fellow Chicano art peers were not too pleased with him painting a mural for a building named after “The Gipper”. But, as you can see that did not deter him from creating this immense artwork for the city of Santa Ana, California. I highly suggest if you are in or around the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse you go inside and view this mural by Chicano great Mr. John M. Valadez.
If you go view this mural, try to spot the depiction of our former President of the United States. (Hint: balloons)
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Culture Fix: John Valadez on the Chicano Art Movement outside East L.A.
Painter and muralist John Valadez shares his experiences as an artist participating in the Chicano art movement outside of East L.A., especially Highland Park and Downtown Los Angeles. This “Culture Fix” talk was presented in conjunction with the L.A. Xicano exhibition “Mapping Another L.A.: The Chicano Art Movement” at the Fowler Museum at UCLA
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JOHN VALADEZ - WELCOME TO LONG BEACH (Mural) 2011
Here is a couple of pictures I took of Chicano artist John Valadez’s mural “Welcome to Long Beach.” The mural is located in Long Beach, California. I planned a trip to Long Beach a couple months ago to go view the MEX/L.A. exhibit at the Museum Of Latin American Art (MOLAA) and this vertical massive mural by Mr. Valadez. I was able to talk to Mr. Valadez at the Mapping Another L.A. exhibit at the Fowler Museum and we talked a little about his mural in Santa Ana, California at the Ronald Reagan Federal Court House and this one in Long Beach. Cool little fact Mr. Valadez told me about the Long Beach mural is that Chicano great and East Los Streetscaper, Wayne Alaniz Healy installed the “Welcome To Long Beach” mural. Mr. Valadez will have a survey exhibition of his work at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, La Jolla (MCASD) later this year.