Mindy Solomon is pleased to present Layered Land, a solo presentation of work by California based artist Rodrigo Valenzuela. Working within the mediums of photography, video, painting, and installation, Valenzuela constructs landscapes that feel strangely empty and other worldly.
“I construct narratives, scenes, and stories pointing to the tensions between the individual and communities. I utilize autobiographical threads to inform larger universal fields of experience. Gestures of alienation and displacement are both the aesthetic and subject of much of my work. Often using landscapes and tableaus with day laborers or myself, I explore the way an image is inhabited and the way that spaces, objects, and people are translated into images. My work serves as an expressive and intimate point of contact between the broader realms of subjectivity and political contingency. Through my videos and photographs, I make images that feel at the same time familiar yet distant. I engage the viewer in questions concerning how the formation and experience of each work is situated—how they exist in and out of place.”
A native of Santiago, Chile, Valenzuela grew up the son of a union member. Focused on the plight of the laborer, Valenzuela constructs spaces of alienation and vacancy. Magical portals that speak to 3-dimensionality almost like an escape hatch to another realm beckon the viewer to consider reality beyond the observed. Hauntingly beautiful and immense in its isolation, each image is a mixture of multiple points of perspective and precise geometry. Sepia tones and subtle pastels applied in equal measure evoke historical weathered photographs and a time before suburban sprawl and urban decay.
In Layered Land, Valenzuela has articulated visually what artists intuitively understand– that there is a world beyond our view that carries all the stories, experiences and memories of humankind.
About Rodrigo Valenzuela
Rodrigo Valenzuela (b.Santiago, Chile 1982) lives and works in Los Angeles, CA, where he is the Associate Professor and Head of the Photography Department at UCLA. Valenzuela has been awarded the 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship in Photography and Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship; Joan Mitchell award for painters and sculptors; Art Matters Foundation grant; and Artist trust Innovators Award.
Recent solo exhibitions include: New Museum, NY; Lisa Kandl- hofer Galerie, Vienna, AU; Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Eugene; Orange County Museum; Portland Art Museum; Frye Art Museum, Seattle. Recent residencies include: Core Fellowship at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture; MacDowell Colony; Bemis Center for contemporary arts; Lightwork; and the Center for Photography at Woodstock.