art work

El Conguero


Year: 2023

Technique: Acrylic, oil pastels on canvas

Curatorial Text

Cuban music and culture invade Valido’s canvas, offering the viewer a cultural journey through his affection for his roots and his respect for graffiti. Valido is an artist who paints using graffiti elements, turning his work into a political and social element.

What is art if not cultural expression? What would it be if not a tool for social and political struggle?

This is precisely the case with Valido, who, through his technique inspired by graffiti culture, conveys his roots and affection for Cuban culture.

In his intention, Valido restores art to its primordial function: a universal communication tool that allows us to enter his world and embrace it. “My art depicts the colorful world of the spirit.”

“El Conguero” is a work that invites us to explore deeply the emotional bonds, places of belonging, and the appropriation of a culture that resides within the artist himself. In this creation, graffiti and urban culture are intertwined in an intrinsic manner, revealing themselves in every layer we observe.

The stylized stroke and the human figure represented in the artwork bear witness to Valido’s mastery as an artist. His overlapping brushstrokes create a unique visual texture where expressiveness often seems spontaneous, as if the work were coming to life before our eyes. Valido’s approach was energetic and frenetic, conveying a sense of urgency in his creations. Brushwork was for him a visceral form of communication, a means to delve into the depths of identity, race, and culture.

Valido’s technique is an ongoing quest for innovation. In addition to acrylic paint, he explores other mediums and materials, incorporating oil pastels into his productions. His artistic curiosity keeps him open to new forms of expression, resulting in works that continue to surprise and captivate the viewer.

“El Conguero” is an explosion of vibrant, contrasting, and saturated colors. This intense color palette creates a breathtaking visual impact, capturing the attention of those who contemplate the artwork. The colors and the music are not merely decorative elements but a vital part of the piece’s narrative.

In summary, “El Conguero” transcends means representation. It is a profound exploration of cultural roots, identity, and Valido’s personal expression. Through his brushwork, colors, and choice of materials, the artwork invites us to dive into a world where the past meets the present, and where urban culture becomes a universal language. It is a celebration of the richness of the human experience.

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Artistic Statement

Valido is an abstract expressionist painter who is from Miami Florida’s Little Havana neighborhood. He states, “My art depicts the colorful spirit world as it radiates through my paintings.” Growing up in a Cuban American home, the Cuban culture has played a major role in his art work as his paintings take us through the Cuban political and economical struggle, Cuban music and street culture, to its unique spiritual belief system that combines Catholicism and the practice of Santeria. 

As a child growing up in Miami, Valido displayed signs of innate artistic talent in both painting and creative writing. Valido grew up in the early 80s during the beginning of the hip hop Culture, as it spread from New York City to Miami. During this time Valido learned the different elements of Hip Hop. “Being able to breakdance, MC and do graffiti played a major role in my youth, as it provided a creative outlet that allowed me to express myself.” Valido is a self taught artist who still combines a lot of his graffiti techniques into his work today. 

Valido graduated from the Florida State University with a Bachlors of Arts in Creative writing and has served as an educator. Currently, he combines his love for creating art and being a coach. Valido explains how the two worlds of sports and the arts coexist in his life. “Being a coach one has to be able to tell a story and bring in life references in order to teach the subject matter at hand. Art is a tool for me that allows me another way to illustrate and teach through visual learning.”

Valido was recently selected to exhibit his works at the 2023 Latinsimo Art Exhibition in New York City. He is showing two of his “Descarga” series works, “El Piquete” and “El Barrio” Also, Valido is also exhibiting several works in the 2023 Luxembourg Arts Fair. Valido has also been selected by Monat Gallery in Madrid Spain, to exhibit his paintings in a group exhibition in August 2023. Excited about his works being displayed in Europe, Valido states “I have three of my paintings that will be exhibited in Europe this fall. “Manteca”, “Bebo” and “Sucker Free”. “Manteca” and “Bebo” are from my “Descarga” series that honor Afro-Cuban jazz musicians. Descarga is a series where I wanted to show how these legendary musicians, who believed in the Cuban Santeria religion, spirits gave them a different physical appearance when pioneering what is known today as AfroCuban Jazz. While “Sucker Free” shows how todays scams and conspiracy rabbit holes are constantly tempting us to stray from our spiritual path.”

Valido is currently working on two projects that also dives deeper into his Caribbean roots. “Defacement” and “Arroz Con Mango” series. These series, dealing with current issues on the island and in the exile Cuban community are expected to be completed by September of 2023.

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