Friday, July 27, 2018

Artist Vincent Valdez made a painting so provocative this Texas museum waited a year to unveil it. Now it’s a national sensation.

ARTNET NEWS
By Sarah Coscone
Mexican American artist, Vincent Valdez working on The City I, a painting of modern day klansmen, in his studio in San Antonio. Photo by Michael Stravato, courtesy of the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin.
It’s not every day that an artist sets out to paint a 30-foot-long canvas filled with larger-than-life Ku Klux Klansmen staring ominously back at the viewer. And so, when the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin purchased The City I from Vincent Valdez for $200,000, it knew it had to tread carefully. “Art raises uncomfortable questions at times, but the rewards that come from having difficult conversations are many and important,” said Blanton director Simone Wicha in a statement. She called the “City” paintings “an exploration of racism, one of the most persistent and challenging social issues of our day.” Valdez began his two-part “City” painting series in the fall of 2015, and the Blanton bought them the following year. [More]
Vincent Valdez, The City I (2015–16), detail. Photo by Peter Molick, courtesy of the artist, David Shelton Gallery, and the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin, purchase through the generosity of Guillermo C. Nicolas and James C. Foster with additional support from Jeanne and Michael Klein and Ellen Susman.