Julio Valdez “Water Paintings”
David Richard Gallery
Nov. 3, 2023 - Nov. 24, 2021
David Richard Gallery is pleased to present Julio Valdez, Water Paintings, in his first solo exhibition with the Gallery. The presentation includes a selection of 15 paintings created from 2012 through 2019 and one earlier painting from 2008 when the artist initially embarked on this ambitious and extensive body of work. The sizes of the paintings in this presentation range from 12 x 10.5 inches up to 54 x 76 inches. Some of the largest paintings were prepared for and included in the 58th edition of the Venice Biennale where Valdez represented the Dominican Republic.
The Dominican Republic is situated between the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. Thus, water was an essential part of Valdez’s upbringing. The ocean was a source of beauty as well as entertainment, livelihood, and commerce. However, as an adult, accomplished artist, and father, Valdez realized that the water’s beauty was not only the source of wonder and awe that inspired him to study and pursue art as a career, but full of literal and metaphorical depth, rich with historical, cultural, and political significance. These literal and metaphorical aspects have also become rich sources of imagery and exploration for the artist, imbuing his artwork with thought provoking visuals and critical content throughout his career. However, the cultural and political significance is scrutinized with a more critical eye, especially in the series of Water Paintings, now that he is a father and emigrant who views the ocean with his son in his sight and through a bicultural lens.