Together his paintings have a cumulative power, and at moments they seem to attract and pull us into another world that stares out at us. You can see his life captured in the still motion of his painting, yet when you soak them in over and over again they change like moments in life that fade in and out. Every brush stroke becomes emblematic of his existence – and De Valdivia is ready to completely embrace the abyss. “If I die tonight, I would just be a dream to the world,” he says, with his wide brown eyes staring up at the sky. See new works by Pedro De Valdivia at “Desmadre: Fresh Latino Perspectives”
Where are you from? What is your heritage?
I am 1st generation American and I grew up in Pasco Washington. My heritage is a mix of more Mexican than Spaniard. Origins: Colima Mexico,Camalote Mexico, Michoacan Mexico and Spain.
What is the medium that you most commonly work in?
My work is measured in a series of years in which I have used a variety of mediums. For Example : pigments, refurbished trash, oil paint, silver (jewelry),etc. As of Late 2008 and the beginning of 2009, I have created over 123 paintings in oil- my current medium.
What tends to inspire you and your work?
In the oil painting that will be available for viewing at Vermillion Gallery, I’m confined by “Critics”. I feel that being a critic involves everyone. Also, I find this in the circumstances of building and making a painting. I hear my conscience become very judgmental in what I dislike and what I find interesting. Quite often this painting reminds me of my first experience of being rejected and critiqued. I became well aware of the fact that to break a mold and create a new movement one has to forget about critics-and even the best critic- yourself.
On the other hand , I find myself fascinated by the complex combinations of color patterns expressed in a single brush stroke. I lean more and more towards applying paint strokes as system of short light flashed that in the end communicate the content of a message . In many ways the paint application derives from my genetics, the system in which I was created from at birth-that no other carries. It is this code which is expressed on the surface of the canvas, the fingerprint of my personality.
3) If it was not for art I would be………..?
A beer making monk.
Do you have any artistic relatives? if so what do they do?
I see my family as people who are unique and vibrant people. Their styles of communication is very flamboyant and dramatic, almost as if they were in theater. Overall, my Grandmother is into culinary arts.
Is music part of your creative process? What do you listen to most?
Yes, it plays an important factor in how my colors seem to explode and dance across the canvas. In many ways the symphony of music relates to my personal method of applying color, its put in order and meshed together to create balance and rhythm . For example, composers create symphonies that add and expand harmonic vocabulary to create romantic music. I love Jazz samba. However, my favorite musicians are: Luiz Bonfa, Duke Elington and Stan Getz.
What food most reminds you of home?
Tamales and Chicken soup. And yes, beans and rice. Most of all -mole! (P.s. someone could poison me with mole and I would even take notice.)
When you are with family do speak mostly in english or espanol?
What do you think could help raise the profile of young Latino artists here in America?
Hard work, Perseverance, bullet proof faith, Fiery passion, a large dose of love, and of course a good meal!
Is there a connection between Latino artists here in the US and those throughout the hemisphere?
I believe the need for bold forms and vibrant color has always been a trait in Latino culture and unity. There are many colorful and vibrant painted homes in Mexico.
I see it as that we are all connected. Visual language derived from the need to express self before words existed. Hence, the Paleolithic period when humankind gradually evolved and began to produce the earliest works of art and engage in religious and spiritual behavior.
Anybody you would like to thank or acknowledge?
I’d like to thank all the people who have made hateful and ignorant remarks of Latinos – I use that hate as fuel to feed the flame that breeds brilliance.
You can see more of Pedro De Valdivia’s arte at www.divinepainter.com