Painters & Sculptors Program 2017 Rodrigo Valenzuela

Painters & Sculptors Program

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Rodrigo Valenzuela

Los Angeles, CA

Rodrigo Valenzuela was born in Santiago, Chile, and completed an art history degree at the University of Chile. He worked in construction while making art over his first decade in the United States, completing an MFA at University of Washington in 2012. Valenzuela’s work in photography, painting, video and installation is rooted in the contradictory traditions of documentary and fiction, often involving narratives around immigration and the working class. Valenzuela’s many residencies include a Core Fellowship at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Skowhegan, Bemis Center, and the Center for Photography at Woodstock. Notable solo exhibitions include the Frye Art Museum, Seattle (2015), Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Santiago (2015), envoy enterprises, New York (2017 and 2015), Klowden Mann, Los Angeles (2016), and Lisa Kandlhofer, Vienna (2016). Valenzuela is an assistant professor at University of California Los Angeles.

“My recent project, Sin Heroes [Hero-less], came as a direct response to seeing a lot of Confederate monuments while living in the American South for two years. I confronted the lack of heroic figures in contemporary culture—a society that often memorializes disasters, war, and the iconic figures while leaving very little room to honor the casualties of these disasters and the sacrifices of the unknown person in our everyday life.”

  • Sin Heroes, installation view, 2016, plaster and light tubes (center piece), extruded foam and plaster (wall piece), 12 x 26 feet 

  • Help Wanted, 2014, wall drawing, charcoal on drywall, unfired clay, light bulbs, dimensions variable

  • Prole, 2015, acrylic on canvas and graphite, 2015, 96 x 72 inches (each painting), 4 x 96 inches (each light table)

  • Sense of Place #21, 2017, toner transfer on canva acrylic, chalk, graphite, 96 x 72 inches

Artworks shown are selected from works submitted by the artist in their grant application. All works are copyright of the artist or artist’s estate.