Kiki Valdes – Riding Dualism

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KIKI VALDES
RIDING DUALISM

Reception: Wed, November 19th 2014
The National Arts Club / Marquis Gallery
15 Gramercy Park South, New York, New York 10003
6 – 8 PM / RSVP is required 
ridingdualism@gmail.com

For his FIRST one-person exhibition in New York, Kiki Valdes presents new paintings that explore the phenomenon of dominance and the translation of experience into image and form. Continuing his inquiry into the evaluation of popular culture in the context of established American settings, Riding Dualism proposes a step further whereby traditions are re-explored and roles often reversed.

Valdes’ work often draws a corollary between the content and action with surroundings punctuated by arid landscapes and fragmented spaces. In his work “Bullish in the Desert”, the interaction between the dark colossal animal and the brightness of the hovering ghost-like figure is offset against the brightness of the warm tones of the landscape. This painting as well as others in the series, investigates the poetics and memories of the perpetuating Western American culture, re-enacting the artist’s own experience in the wilderness of Arizona.

Simultaneously entertaining and strikingly composed semi-abstract paintings, Kiki Valdes’ works are critical interrogations of the duality between the individual and the system, or in this case the ‘animal’. Tracing the conflicting broadcast of everyday uprising, the unleashed beast in “Angry Horse” exposes the overthrow of ongoing endorsed system, projecting the viewers in a mental state of a no-man’s land where the dignity of the animal and individual are one. Kiki Valdes approaches the lore of the American cowboy with an intimate immediacy, enabling his contemporary experience to exist within the continuum of civilizations.

Kiki Valdes was born in Miami, Florida in 1981, and lives and works between New York, New Jersey and Miami. A Cuban American painter, Valdes’ work explores the multidimensional complexities of people, religion, American-life, sex, and superstition. His canvases tend to overlap on top of various unresolved paintings and capture a sense of association, rhythm and conflict. Kiki often refers to his paintings as studies; instead of art history’s draw toward the female or still life, Valdes explores the use of 1990’s cartoons with expressionistic tendencies. His appropriation of Disney/Nickelodeon characters is a starting point for him to redefine his understanding of the subject. The work can best be described as a marriage between abstract expressionism and cartoons.

“Kiki Valdes: Riding Dualism” will be on view at The National Arts Club, New York from November 3-29th 2014. A reception will be held on November 19, 2014 from 6-8 PM.

Press Contact: RidingDualism@gmail.com

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National Academy: Beyond the Classical

The National Academy Museum & School has put on a rather EXCEPTIONAL show: Beyond the Classical. What I was thinking what the should would be composed of … well let’s just say I was ABSOLUTELY wrong. I was thinking I would be looking at Ancient Greek Sculptures contrasted with contemporary versions. That was not the case. AT ALL.

What I saw before me was INCREDIBLE. A FASCINATING mix of MODERN and CONTEMPORARY works that draw on classical works and themes. This show is a MUST SEE. From Rauschenberg to Duchamp, to Kiki Smith, Mickalene Thomas and more… the list goes on and on. And the works you are presented works are not necessarily typical for what you would normally associate with each artist (especially Mickalene Thomas).

Check out a few snaps of works below that are in the show… but we did not include them all because we ENCOURAGE you all to go and check it out! (Images from Top to Bottom: Yinka Shonibare, “Fake Death Picture,” 2011 – Susan Solano, “Memoria,” 1992-93 – Marcel Duchamp, “L.H.O.O.Q.,” 1964 – Mickalene Thomas, “Carmen: Standing Reaching, Standing Twisting, Standing with Back to Artist,” 2011.)

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XX,

CHC

@CultureHeARTs

Overreaction is a Bloody Understatement – An Example of How NOT to Take Criticism

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Everyone has the right to critique. Just “artists” or artists take it a little too personally, sometimes. Wanna be dramatic? Take it and break it. See for yourself.

But seriously, if you love what you do, why do you care what other people think? It’s just an opinion. This is not the difference between life and death.

And – Dear Girl in the Video with your “abstract” painting, you are already a fashion designer apparently, so you are established. I understand you spent a lot of time on that piece and went out of your comfort zone – but was this really necessary? Obviously you got upset and had the right to be since this painting was so personal to you that you started cursing and slammed the canvas against the wall after you kicked the frame. Maybe you should just stick to fashion?

Kids, at the end of the day… do what you do best. Follow your He(ART). Don’t listen to what other people have to say. Believe in yourself.

XX, DP

Weird, Strange, and Morbid: Charles Matton, the Unappreciated/Unrecognised Artist

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I think in my previous posts, that I’m sure all of you have read and become dedicated CultureHe(ART)s readers – its apparent of my style of art (aka K’s style) exemplifies the WEIRD, STRANGE, and the MORBID. This is why when I stumbled upon the French artist Charles Matton (1931 – 2008), I was overwhelmed with happiness and curiosity. I want to share that with you. I won’t bore you to death with a biography and list of works, but I will give you a little rant on why I think he’s so great. Maybe you’ll like it, maybe you won’t.

What strikes me about Matton and his work is he was an innovator, a REBELLIOUS artist. During the Modernist period when abstraction was a predominant mode of painting and sculpture, Matton diverged. I think this was brave. He believed that abstract reality when in front of you becomes beautiful. He would paint bouquets, heads, flowers – and painting was not his sole medium. Matton has done everything from sculpture to collage to films, you name it, he’s done it.

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What strikes me most about his work, is his undeniable love for reality and being able to find beauty in the strange, the foreign – whether it be morbid such as his masochistic photographs, his pregnant sculptures or attempting to infiltrate the minds of the great artists such as Bacon and Giacometti (he created some wonderful small collages of their studios that you can look at for hours).

Charles Matton died in 2008, and this is why I am writing about him now. I think he was very under appreciated and unrecognised due to the overshadowing of modernist art and his divergence from it. He’s a bit kooky and weird – but hey who isn’t? And as I always say, “if your not weird than you are not normal.”

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What does your He(ART) think? Strange? Morbid? Beautiful?

Peace Out, K.

What’s NEW at TATE MODERN: LONDON

So I don’t know if it’s me or all us ART fans out there love going to the same museum 1000x just to see their favourite works… but this last time I went to visit the Tate this past weekend, I got a MASSIVE SURPRISE. While much of the Tate is under construction, that did not stop them from bringing out their A Game. See for yourself:

To begin Gerhard Richter’s 11 Glass Panes is now on display. Put 11 planes of glass together and what do you get? A FABULOUS mirror (obvi take a SELFIE in it when you’re there – it is the cool thing to do)!

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Ellsworth Kelly has a WHOLE room – while I am only showing one piece it is because I am encouraging you to go and see the rest! They are LARGER THAN LIFE and truly BRILLIANT minimal pieces of art.

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Lastly, another new piece I came across was Tracey Emin’s Hate and Power Can be a Terrible Thing. What a tragic past she had, but what a GENIUS way to express her emotions.

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Get inspired. Express yourself. Love He(ART).

XX,

DP

The Biggest Disappointment: RA Summer Exhibition 2013

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While every year, apparently, people look forward to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition… I can without a doubt say that this show was the BIGGEST disappointment – possibly ever.

I have seen student shows in the states, I have seen student shows at other Uni’s in Europe… but for such an esteemed academy, the work was anything but.

But actually. It was a massive disappointment. The highlights were that of the architectural maquettes – which are for sale; opposed to the six tapestries by Grayson Perry (above) whose tapestries entitled The Vanity of Small Differences (based off of Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress) are aesthetically appealing and visually/mentally time consuming when trying to grasp what is going on, however they are NOT for sale, and take a place on the cover of the book with works sold. I find this quite odd.

Did the RA know that all the works chosen were not so splendid so the work they chose for their cover is a work that is not being sold? I call this FALSE ADVERTISING.

I am not saying all these artists are lacking talent, but their works are heavily derived from per say Manet, Monet, Ellsworth Kelly, Alex Katz, etc. Or they are just plain horrific, and embrace numerous qualities of kitsch (ugh).

If I have no dissuaded you from visiting the show, and I do encourage you to go and have your own opinion, please let me know what you think. I love some great feedback!

XX, DP

Some Highlights from Venice: Ze Peggy Guggenheim Collection… aka AMAZINGGGGGG

Breath taking. Fantastic. Phenomenal. Incredible. Mind-blowing. MODERN ART… There are no other better words to describe some of the highlights I saw at the Peggy Guggenheim this week in Venice – ITALY, duh (p.s don’t forget she slept with a lot of these artists hence her nickname “THE MISTRESS OF MODERN ART”)…

Let the works speak for themselves:

ROTHKO

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PICASSO

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LEGER

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STELLA

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AND… last but NOT least… the most awe-inspiring combination of works that I saw – a Barnett NEWMAN ZIP hung above a Carl ANDRE sculpture. WOW. LOVE. OBSESSED.

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Enjoy. Take it all in. I am still working on it. But actually.

GET INSPIRED. GET CULTURED. He(ART) the ART.

XX, DP