Please join me for the opening reception of my new exhibition Para Sonar el Sol at the June Kelly Gallery Friday, November 7th from 6-8pm.
An exhibition of new surreal paintings by Julio Valdez – a native of the Dominican Republic who draws his sensual inspiration and his rich palate of blues and greens from the sea that laps the island’s shores — will open at the June Kelly Gallery on Friday, November 7. The works will remain on view through December 9.
The exhibition title, Para Soñar el Sol (In Order to Dream the Sun), was taken from the song, Sueño de Una Noche de Verano (Midsummer’s Night Dream), by Cuban songwriter Silvio Rodriguez, whose lyrics have inspired many of the images in Valdez’s work throughout his career.
Valdez’s paintings are aquatic theaters that reflect a view of the sea that is both dreamlike and hallucinatory. For Valdez, the sea is a metaphor for consciousness and the creative spirit. The sea is a route to exile as well as a means of reunion. Valdez uses the water, as well as the intensity of the sun, as constant symbols of a Dominican’s devotion to his island.
Valdez’s mystical reveries capture the allure of the light, the strength and the spatial ambiguity of the ocean. Its transparency and visual instability create an unsettling sense of isolation and shelter, freedom and threat. He gives us a world where nature and consciousness mingle, where the sensuality of the tropics meets the isolation of the island life, and where dreams of travel to distant lands are tempered by the powerful emotional bonds of home.
Valdez was born in Santo Domingo and studied at Altos de Chavόn School of Design in La Romana, which is associated with Parsons School of Design, New York. He also studied at the National School of Fine Arts in Santo Domingo, and worked with printmakers Robert Blackburn and Kathy Caraccio in New York. He lives and works in New York City.
Valdez’s paintings have been shown in many one-person and group exhibitions in the United States, the Caribbean, Canada, and Europe. He is represented in numerous public, corporate and private collections, including El Museo del Barrio, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, CA.; Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, New Jersey; Musée Grimaldi, Cagnes-Sur-Mer, France; Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, San Juan, Puerto Rico; Museum of Modern Art, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Omar Rayo Museum, Roldanillo, Colombia; the Library of Congress and The World Bank, Washington, DC.