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Thomas Paul Fine Art exhibition showcases the work of the multi-talented artist Patssi Valdez
Installation view of the show: Patssi Valdez/Louis Jacinto '80s Portraits. Photo: Courtesy Thomas Paul Fine Art.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- Thomas Paul Fine Art presents Valdez/Jacinto: 80’s Portraits. The exhibition showcases the work of the multi-talented artist Patssi Valdez, co-founder of the Chicano performance and conceptual art group ASCO. The exhibition coincides with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s exhibition: ASCO: Elite of the Obscure, A Retrospective, 1972-1987, and “Pacific Standard Time (Getty Research Institute)”. Thomas Paul Fine Art showcases both photographs from Valdez’ ASCO period along with her most recent paintings and gouaches, offering an extensive view of her multifarious artistic career. In addition, the gallery is also exhibiting the work of Louis Jacinto, another artist/photographer who worked in Los Angeles during that period. Louis Jacinto began photographing in Los Angeles in 1975. Both Valdez and Jacinto actively recorded the turbulent shifting of cultural identities and social realities that would form a rich part of Los Angeles’ history.

As a member of the ASCO collective, Valdez strove to challenge and dismantle the sexist and racist images assigned to her. Photography offered the ideal vehicle in which to express her theatrical skills and sense of melodrama and to counteract the confining and unflattering images of Chicanas held by society. In her self-portraits, Valdez became the Chicana Hollywood icon that was missing from the big screen. These glamorous, positive images not only called upon a rejection of ethnic stereotypes in Hollywood but also allowed her to cope with the emotional pain of her childhood. Valdez’ outspoken expressions as an urban Chicana in a public sphere would later give way to themes of private explorations of self-identity.

In 1976, Valdez created her first painting, but did not pursue the medium for over a decade. It was not until 1988 that she found painting to be the proper medium in which to express emotion and reflect and construct her identity. An acute self-awareness became central to her artistic vision. Valdez’ recent works read like narrative dreamscapes, infused with the supernatural as well as personal symbols and motifs, expressing a distinct mental topography. Valdez weaves her surreal spaces with vibrant color and psychological weight. Her most recent works depart from mysterious domestic spaces and focus on chromatic landscapes and imaginary realms. These wild settings allow Valdez to fuse older motifs of pain and damage with the regenerative connotations of the untamed natural world.

Valdez/Jacinto: 80’s Portraits presents a compilation of Valdez’ works which can be characterized as autobiographical. They express meaningful imagery focusing on her place within the constructs of society and inner reflections of, and reactions to, her life’s experiences. She explains, “My paintings portray an actual and or imagined place that depict an inspirational or emotionally charged feeling or experience. They are snippets of environments that I consider meaningful and symbolic of my individual as well as collective Chicano experience.”

Valdez/Jacinto: 80’s Portraits will run until November 5th, 2011 at Thomas Paul Fine Art, 7270 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90036.

Patssi Valdez | Thomas Paul Fine Art |

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