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 Julio Valdez: Bio

Born in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic, Julio Valdez relocated to New York in 1993. Working between pluri-cultural sensibilities, Valdez infuses his work with multi-layered imagery as a response to the shifting cultural and social influences in his life.

Julio Valdez is a painter, printmaker, teacher and mixed installation artist whose work has been exhibited internationally since 1984. He received training in oil painting and printmaking in both his native land and New York City, his longtime home where he now creates art that evokes the Caribbean region’s physical beauty and varied cultures. Early in his career, Valdez depicted Caribbean waters as a vehicle of migration, charged with the unsettling histories of slavery, imperialism, and mass tourism. His work evokes his Afro-Caribbean roots and references his childhood memories of the Caribbean, as well as contemporary issues of displacement and cultural identity.


Valdez studied at the National School of Fine Arts in Santo Domingo from 1984-1986 and, in 1988 was graduated from Altos de Chavόn School of Design, the Parsons School of Design affiliate in the Dominican Republic. He received a fellowship from the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop in 1994 and founded Julio Valdez Studio, which specializes in non-toxic contemporary printmaking processes, the same year.


Valdez was granted his first museum exhibition at the Omar Rayo Museum in Colombia in 1988. He received prizes at the 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, and 1998 Santo Domingo Museo de Arte Moderno national biennials, as well as numerous international awards, including an Artist-in-Residence Fellowship at The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York City in 1997-98, the Silver Palette for Painting at the XXX International Painting Festival, Cagnes-sur-Mer, France in 1998, and the Grand Prize at the XVII E. Leon Jimenez Biennal in the Dominican Republic in 2000.


In 2003, he received a New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Fellowship and held a solo exhibition at the Organization of American States in Washington, DC. In 2005, he was nominated to the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Library of Congress included one of his prints in its collection. In 2007, he received a fellowship from the National Academy and Museum, New York, for Advanced Studies in Public Art.


In 2013, Valdez received the Grand Prize at the International Drawing Biennial, Palace of Fine Arts, Santo Domingo. In 2014, the US Department of State purchased a large triptych painting for its Art in Embassies Program permanent collection. His work is part of many public, private, and museum collections worldwide. The hardcover book Julio Valdez, by Federica Palomero, was published in 2009 in New York.


He has presented thirty (30) solo exhibitions, most recently in 2016 at Latin American Masters Gallery in Santa Monica, California and 2017 at June Kelly Gallery in Soho, New York City. Julio Valdez Studio is a regular exhibitor at the Affordable Art Fair as well as Art on Paper, both in New York.


Valdez was part of the official representation of the Dominican Republic at the 58th Venice Biennale and a new solo show will open at June Kelly Gallery, New York. A new museum exhibition is scheduled for 2021 at the Art Museum of the Americas, Organization of American States (OAS), Washington, DC.



Nacido en Santo Domingo, República Dominicana, Julio Valdez se transladó a la ciudad de Nueva York  en 1993. Trabajando entre varias sensibilidades pluri-culturales, el imbuye su obra con imágenes multifacéticas, respondiendo asi a los cambios sociales y culturales en su vida. Su obra, la cual incluye Pinturas, Grabados, Técnicas Mixtas e Instalaciones, ha sido exhibida internacionalmente y ha recibido numerosos premios y galardones, incluyendo la Beca de Artista-en-Residencia del Studio Museum in Harlem de Nueva York, 1997-98,  la Paleta de Plata del XXXeme Festival Internacional de la Pintura de Cagnes-sur-Mer, Francia, 1998,  asi como el Gran Premio de la XVII Bienal E. Leon Jimenes de la Republica Dominicana en 2000,  y la Beca de la Fundación por las Artes en Nueva York, 2003, entre otros.

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