Monday, August 11, 2014

01 Randi Medina- Vincent Valdez

Vincent Valdez is one of my favorite artists. He is from San Antonio, he graduated from Burbank high school and grew up in my neighborhood; so his work is sort of personal to me in a way. One of my favorite body of works by Valdez is Excerpts for John (2012). In this work Valdez presents a body of paintings that commemorate the death of his friend John ,who died in service an army combat medic during the Iraq war. These works depict the funeral procession of Valdez's dear friend's return home. The paintings are predominately white with minimal coloring of only red white, and blue to symbolize the service to his country, and the white background provides a truly somber feel.  Valdez also added elements of the background which are actual locations on the south side of San Antonio.They symbolize perhaps what his friend may have seen at his last moments as well as his connection to home.

Valdez also did an amazing large scale realist portrait of John. Half the background was adapted from a war movie and the other side is of an actual war photograph. For Valdez, this is a combination of the invented and actual history coming together to create a more personal understanding of war. Valdez also created equally somber and powerful films which represent John's return home. With these incredibly moving works, Valdez has given a deep commemoration to not only his friend John, but to all other 'John's' who have lived and died in war....You can see a documentary of how he created Excerpts for John in this link provided.

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