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Patssi Valdez..Born 1951


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Recent Paintings for sale...... #1....

While growing up in East Los Angeles, art was an escape from the harsh realities of barrio life. In the 70's, as a founding member of the Chicano conceptual performance group ASCO (Spanish for nausea), Valdez challenged the traditional images of Chicano culture and racial and gender stereotypes through street theatre and photography. She sought a contemporary vision of Mexican women, which she juxtaposed against Hollywood ideals of glamour. Yearning for a formal art education, Valdez earned a B.F.A. from Otis Parsons School of Design and began to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a painter.....her first body of work depicting her memories, dreams and experiences. These boldly colored paintings of turbulent domestic interiors may lack inhabitants, but the furniture and objects are animated and often menacing.....

Although Los Angeles is the quintessential city of fused cultures, religions and identities, Hispanic artists have long struggled with a dual sense of participation and separation. Women artists, such as Patssi Valdez, tend to be fueled more by interior rumblings.

Valdez’s artistic life was launched by her participation in the Chicano/Chicana political art movements of the 1970s and 1980s. Activism became a path to social empowerment and brought the artists to the attention of the larger community. The multi-talented Valdez participated in performance art, installations, photography, and the graphic arts, as well as costume, theater and stage design; experiences that account for her agility in organizing space. Ultimately, it was painting that allowed her to express her most compelling self-realizations.

Although ethnic symbols and myths remained integral to her being, her paintings derived more from private experiences, the nature of which was distinctively painful and feminist. Imbued with an emotive spirit reminiscent of the magic-realists, her edgy interiors were metaphorical visions of the home as a dangerous, anxiety ridden place. Floors crack and swirl and spike-legged chairs fly through the air, as if the rooms are inhabited by demonic poltergeists. The animated objects are further intensified by the vibrancy of bright primary colors and dizzying perspectives.

In her recent paintings, the unsettling dynamism has been toned down. Although still eschewing an economy of means in regard to patterns and colors, interiors convey a more serene, self-reflective state of mind. Gone are agitated, Van Gogh-like intensities. Vivid reds have been replaced with calming peach tones and deep hunter greens. The more subdued palette reflects a transitional self-realized state of calm. Considering the vibrancy of her past paintings, however, subdued becomes a relative term. Her concentration of hues still maintain an immediacy that communicates emotion.