Patssi Valdez

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Patsi Valdez
Los Angeles, California
EducationOtis College of Art and Design
Known forPainting, 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.[1] Valdez's work represents some of the finest Chicana avant-garde expressionism.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

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.[3] Valdez attended Garfield High School and graduated in 1970.[2] She received a BFA from Otis Art Institute in 1985.[4]

Career and work[edit]

Valdez was a founding member of the Asco artist collective.[5][6][7][8] Valdez started working with Asco right out of high school.[3] She was very involved with street performance art and "cinematic Goth film stills" during the 1970s and 1980s.[1] 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.[9] Instead of painting, she focused on performance art, installations and photography.[9] During her time with Asco, she collaborated and created work that reflected shared "political and social concerns."[3] 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.[3] 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."[10] Asco commented on Mexican-American identity and rampant stereotyping of Mexican-Americans by the media.[3] Valdez relates how she was "always angry" as a young person watching movies "because she never saw the beautiful Mexicans she knew on screen."[10]

Valdez' installations are considered feminist works that defy cultural expectations of a woman's role in society.[11] The temporary nature of her installations also tap into the "Mexican cultural practice of the impermanent."[11]

Since the 1980s Valdez has focused on her painting.[1] She honed her skills and invited honest critique of her first works which helped boost her confidence in her painting.[9] Valdez's painting are bright, colorful and "seem just a little enchanted."[1] "I've been trying to get away from the brighter palette for years," she says, "but the more I try, it just comes out."[1] Her "vibrant" work is very emotive and has a sense of magical realism.[12] Valdez's subject matter is often focused on the female figure or domestic scenes and settings.[1] Her work draws on her "private experiences, the nature of which [are] distinctly painful and feminist."[12]

Valdez is the recipient of J. Paul Getty Trust Fund for the Visual Arts fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts fellowship,[13] and the Brody Arts Fellowship in Visual Arts. She won a 2001 Durfee Artist Fellowship.[14]

In 2000, she showed at Patricia Correia Gallery, Santa Monica.[15] In 2006, she showed at the Angels Gate Cultural Center.[16] In 2011, she showed at Fowler Museum at UCLA.[17]

Her art work is in the Smithsonian American Art Museum,[18] National Hispanic Cultural Center Collection,[19] National Museum of American Art, the Tucson Museum of Art, the San Jose Museum of Art, and the El Paso Museum of Art.

In 2017-2018 she was part of the area wide Pacific Standard Time exhibition, her exhibit Judithe Hernández and Patssi Valdez: One path Two Journeys. Pacific Standard Time was at the Millard Sheets Art Center. "These artists have profoundly influenced the aesthetic voices of Latinas in the latter half of the 20th century, and for the first time will be shown together."[20]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Miranda, Carolina A. (30 December 2014). "Painter Patssi Valdez on capturing energy, an L.A. fashion installation". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
  2. ^ a b Patssi Valdez, Marcial González, introduction (26 March 2014). Asco and Beyond: A Talk by Patssi Valdez (video). UC Berkeley Events.
  3. ^ a b c d e Matthews, Riah (14 October 2013). "Asco's Patssi Valdez on her Nottingham Contemporary exhibition". Nottingham Post. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  4. ^ "Patssi Valdez". Otis College of Art and Design. 2009. Archived from the original on 15 February 2009. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  5. ^ Kennedy, Randy (August 25, 2011). "Chicano Pioneers". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-12-22.
  6. ^ Guzman-Lopez, Adolfo (September 7, 2011). "1970s L.A. Chicano Conceptual Art Group Gets its Due". KCET. Retrieved 2013-12-22.
  7. ^ Hernandez, Daniel (2007-06-06). "The Art Outlaws of East L.A." LA Weekly. Retrieved 2013-12-22.
  8. ^ "Renegade Artists Get Museum Retrospective". Studio 360. September 23, 2011. Archived from the original on February 2, 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-22.
  9. ^ a b c Chafin, Jane (7 September 2012). "An Interview with Patssi Valdez, An American Painter". Huffpost Arts and Culture. The Huffington Post. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  10. ^ a b Beagles, John (January 2014). "Artmoreorless". Sight & Sound. 24 (1). ISSN 0037-4806. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  11. ^ a b Mesa-Bains, Amalia (9 July 2003). "Domesticana: The Sensibility of Chicana Rasquachismo". In Arredondo, Gabriela F.; Hurtado, Aida; Klahn, Norma; Najera-Ramirez, Olga; Zavella, Patricia (eds.). Chicana Feminisms: A Critical Reader. Duke University Press Books. ISBN 978-0822331414.
  12. ^ a b Welles, Elenore (December 2000). "Patssi Valdez". Patssi Valdez. ArtScene. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  13. ^ "Voces Latinas: Works on Paper from 1921 – present" (PDF). Nevada Arts Council. Retrieved 2013-12-22.
  14. ^ "Patssi Valdez". The Chicano Collection. Retrieved 2013-12-22.
  15. ^ Welles, Elenore. "Patssi Valdez". Retrieved 2013-12-22.
  16. ^ "Patssi Valdez". Angels Gate Cultural Center. Retrieved 2013-12-22.
  17. ^ "Patssi Valdez". ArtSlant. Retrieved 2013-12-22.
  18. ^ "Patssi Valdez". The Poetry Foundation. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
  19. ^ "Valdez - House of Spirits". National Hispanic Cultural Center. 2006-05-01. Retrieved 2013-12-22.
  20. ^ "Judithe Hernández and Patssi Valdez: One Path Two Journeys". Retrieved 2018-03-15.

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • McMahon, Marci R. "Self-Fashioning through Glamour and Punk in East Los Angeles Patssi Valdez in Asco's Instant Mural and a La Mode." Aztlan, vol. 36, no. 2, Fall2011, pp. 21–49. ISSN 0005-2604