ART/SNEAK PEEK : VALDEZ ON INSPIRATION FOR `PRIVATE LANDSCAPES'.Byline: - Reed Johnson Reed Cameron Johnson (born December 8, 1976 in Riverside, California) is an outfielder for the Toronto Blue Jays of the American League East division of Major League Baseball. He weighs 180 lb (82 kg) and is 5'10" tall.
It's a room Martha Stewart <noinclude></noinclude>
Martha Stewart (born Martha Helen Kostyra on August 3, 1941) is an American business magnate, author, editor and homemaking advocate. She is also a former stockbroker and fashion model. might envy, a shrine to the virtues of do-it-yourself domesticity.
Its loudly colored walls are lined with miniature sombreros and doll-size Southwestern throw rugs. A blue-skinned Indian god hangs from the ceiling. A tall cabinet bristles with electric candles, a copy of Man Ray's photograph ``Tears'' and other trinkets scavenged from the Olvera Street Olvera Street is in the oldest part of Downtown Los Angeles, California, and is otherwise known as the birthplace of the City of Angels or El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument and is a department within the city. Market - all of them arranged with a quasi-religious reverence that belies their whimsicality whim·si·cal·i·ty
n. pl. whim·si·cal·i·ties
1. The quality or state of being whimsical.
2. A whimsical idea or its expression; a caprice.
Noun 1. . A chiming clock marks time, one imagines, for some cozy household ritual yet to occur.
Artist Pattsi Valdez smiles faintly as she explains the inspiration behind her mixed-media installation, ``The Living Room,'' the centerpiece of her just-opened exhibition, ``Private Landscapes 1988-1997,'' at the CSUN CSUN California State University Northridge Art Gallery.
``The whole theory behind that was, I'd be at K mart and I'd see all these Latina women buying their Martha Stewart paint,'' Valdez says, referring to a popular brand marketed by the queen of low-budget chic.
``I thought, well, you can be poor but you can still have beauty. And you don't have to spend a lot of money. I learned how to invent things from junk. That's the whole intention of this room ... like, stuff that I bought from a second-hand store Noun 1. second-hand store - a shop that sells secondhand goods at reduced prices
shop, store - a mercantile establishment for the retail sale of goods or services; "he bought it at a shop on Cape Cod" .''
Valdez hastens to add that she's not saying Martha Stewart ``is perfect or anything,'' but she does admire Stewart's gift for creating highly personal environments out of thrift-shop parts and mix-and-match iconography.
To an extent, that aesthetic defines Valdez's own art.
A painter, installation artist and set and costume designer, Valdez has exhibited internationally and worked with the Mark Taper Forum The Mark Taper Forum is a small thrust stage with 745 seats at the Los Angeles Music Center built by Welton Beckett and Associates. It has presented innovative plays since 1967. The world premiere of Angels In America was produced here. (``Diva L.A.,'' ``Carpa Clash'') and as a consultant for the Francis Ford Coppola-produced film ``Mi Familia This article is about the Polish political party. For other uses, see Familia (disambiguation).
Familia ("The Family," from the Romain familia .''
A few years ago she began turning her attention to painting. Her early works are pervaded with strong primary colors those developed from the solar beam by the prism, viz., red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet, which are reduced by some authors to three, - red, green, and violet-blue. These three are sometimes called fundamental colors.
See under Color.
See also: Color Primary and influences ranging from Frida Kahlo to Max Beckmann, the German expressionist ex·pres·sion·ism
A movement in the arts during the early part of the 20th century that emphasized subjective expression of the artist's inner experiences.
ex·pres painter whose portrait appears in the corner of one work, ``The Purple Couch.''
``That's just some artist I admired,'' Valdez remarks slyly. ``I made a joke some years ago that all the men I love are dead.''
Magic and surreal mystery also permeate Valdez's imagery. In many of her paintings, ordinary household objects seem to be guided by hidden apparitions. Scarfs float out of drawers with restless energy. Cramped geometric surfaces induce a claustrophobic unease. Tension flows between her interior and exterior spaces, creating works that are heavy with dramatic potential despite having few human figures.
In ``Red Room'' (1993) a letter opener - or is it a knife? - hovers in a state of agitation, as if trapped in its own infernal atmosphere. In ``Room on the Verge On the Verge (or The Geography of Yearning) is a play written by Eric Overmyer. It makes extensive use of esoteric language and pop culture references from the late nineteenth century to 1955. ,'' on loan to the exhibition by actor-comic Cheech Marin, three brooms glide and dance like the ones in ``The Sorcerer's Apprentice'' sequence from Disney's ``Fantasia fantasia (făntā`zhə) [Ital.,=fancy], musical composition not restricted to a formal design, but constructed freely in the manner of an improvisation. In the 16th and 17th cent. .''
Calmly, Valdez describes her early works as ``naive.'' See, she points out, in her more recent paintings she's branching out into more subdued colors, and experimenting with long, vertical canvases. Her objects, too - hobby horses, masks - have grown less menacing, ``a little lighter, a little more innocent. They're calming down.''
But signs of trouble still emerge in such paintings as ``Little Girl in Yellow'' (1995), which depicts a roly-poly child standing on a chipped sidewalk, her body tipped as precariously as the Leaning Tower of Pisa Leaning Tower of Pisa
White marble campanile in Pisa, Italy, famous for the uneven settling of its foundation, which caused it to lean 5.5 degrees (about 15 ft [4.5 m]) from the perpendicular. .
``That's me when I was 5, or maybe I was 4,'' says Valdez, who was born and raised in East L.A. ``Well, her world is starting to fall apart a little bit, her whole life. Her aura is still around her, but the ground is starting to crack.''
If Valdez's art is more peaceful these days, part of the reason could be her new neighborhood. When she started painting she lived near MacArthur Park, where her apartment looked out on a gray industrial landscape.
``Up to the minute I got out of that neighborhood I was searching for a tree. So the quest was a tree.''
She now lives near Elysian Park, where the grass is greener in her latest private landscape.
Valdez is sharing the CSUN Art Dome with friend and fellow artist Christina Fernandez, whose installations and tableaux of photographs and text examine family histories and personal stories within a socio-political framework. See this space next week for more on Fernandez's work.
The joint exhibition runs through Feb. 28 at the CSUN Art Dome, 18111 Nordhoff St., corner of Lindley, in Northridge. Admission is free. Hours are noon to 4 p.m. Mondays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. For information, call (818) 677-2226.
Photo: ``Room With Masks,'' circa 1996, is included in artist Pattsi Valdez's ``Private Landscapes 1988-1997,'' at the CSUN Art Gallery.