Julio Valdez's Paintings Inspired by Cuban Music at Soho Gallery

 

Alison Martin
NY Fine Arts Writer for the Examiner

Dreaming Boy III, 2013

Oil on Linen, 36 x 78 in.

On view at June Kelly Gallery, New York City (November 7-December 9)

 

The June Kelly Gallery in Soho is currently presenting a series of new paintings by Julio Valdez for the exhibition Para Soñar el Sol. The title of the show translates to “In Order to Dream the Sun” and was borrowed from the song Sueno de Una Noche Verano(“Midsummer Night’s Dream”) by Cuban songwriter Silvio Rodriguez whose lyrics serve as a major inspiration for Valdez’s subjects.

 

Valdez’s paintings are ethereal portrayals of the calmness of the sea in the stillness of the night. The sea is a metaphor for dreaminess and creativity and this is illustrated especially well inDreaming Boy III which depicts a young boy floating in the water with his eyes close as though he is floating along a sea of dreams.

 

A similar image titled Skaneateles features two young children and their mother standing in the water surrounded by an assorted collection of flowers. The young girl is clearly shown in the foreground wearing a t-shirt while her younger sibling and her mother, especially the mother, appear to be somewhat faded out as though they are in the midst of a daydream.

 

In another piece titled Oficiante del Mar II depicts the shadow of a man raising his arms and two sea creatures. In all of his works, Valdez beautifully captures the ripples and waves in the sea in all of his works, creating a world where nature and consciousness mingle, where the serenity of the tropics meets the reality of life on land, and where dreams of travel to distant lands are balanced with the idea that there’s no place like home.

At The June Kelly Gallery, 166 Mercer St., through Dec. 9th. The gallery is open Tues.—Sat. from 11 a.m.—6 p.m.