Los Angeles, California
|Education||Otis College of Art and Design|
|Known for||Painting, Photography, Performance Art|
Patssi Valdez (born 1951) is an American Chicana artist, living and working in Los Angeles, California. She is a founding member of the art collective, Asco. Valdez's work represents some of the finest Chicana avante-garde expressionism.
Early Life and Education
Valdez was born in 1951 and grew up in East Los Angeles. Valdez recalls that during the time she was growing up in Los Angeles, racism, police brutality and poor schools were a big problem. Valdez attended Garfield High School and graduated in 1970. She received a BFA from Otis Art Institute in 1985.
Career and Work
Valdez was a founding member of the Asco artist collective. Valdez started working with Asco right out of high school. She was very involved with street performance art and "cinematic Goth film stills" during the 1970's and 1980's. Valdez relates that during her time in Asco, she had "grand ideas about being a great painter," but she felt lacked the skills she needed to be a successful painter. Instead of painting, she focused on performance art, installations and photography. During her time with Asco, she collaborated and created work that reflected shared "political and social concerns." Many of her performances with Asco took place in areas where there had recently been gang conflict or fatal shootings of individuals by the police. She and the other founders of Asco had seen that a disproportionate number of Mexican-Americans were singled out for the Vietnam draft: this and "the sight of their friends returning in body bags and the elite political class's apathy to their plight scarred all the members." Asco commented on Mexican-American identity and rampant stereotyping of Mexican-Americans by the media. Valdez relates how she was "always angry" as a young person watching movies "because she never saw the beautiful Mexicans she knew on screen."
Since the 1980's Valdez has focused on her painting. She honed her skills and invited honest critique of her first works which helped boost her confidence in her painting. Valdez's painting are bright, colorful and "seem just a little enchanted." "I've been trying to get away from the brighter palette for years," she says, "but the more I try, it just comes out." Her "vibrant" work is very emotive and has a sense of magical realism. Valdez's subject matter is often focused on the female figure or domestic scenes and settings. Her work draws on her "private experiences, the nature of which [are] distinctly painful and feminist."
Valdez is the recipient of J. Paul Getty Trust Fund for the Visual Arts fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, and the Brody Arts Fellowship in Visual Arts. She won a 2001 Durfee Artist Fellowship.
Her art work is in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, National Hispanic Cultural Center Collection, National Museum of American Art, the Tucson Museum of Art, the San Jose Museum of Art, and the El Paso Museum of Art.
- Miranda, Carolina A. (30 December 2014). "Painter Patssi Valdez on capturing energy, an L.A. fashion installation". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
- Patssi Valdez, Marcial González, introduction (26 March 2014). Asco and Beyond: A Talk by Patssi Valdez (video). UC Berkeley Events.
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- "Renegade Artists Get Museum Retrospective". Studio 360. September 23, 2011. Retrieved 2013-12-22.
- Chafin, Jane (7 September 2012). "An Interview with Patssi Valdez, An American Painter". Huffpost Arts and Culture. The Huffington Post. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
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- "Voces Latinas: Works on Paper from 1921 – present" (PDF). Nevada Arts Council. Retrieved 2013-12-22.
- "Patssi Valdez". The Chicano Collection. Retrieved 2013-12-22.
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- "Patssi Valdez". The Poetry Foundation. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
- "Valdez - House of Spirits". National Hispanic Cultural Center. 2006-05-01. Retrieved 2013-12-22.