Blanton Museum of Art presents Vincent Valdez: "The City" closing day
The Blanton will present a new exhibition in the Contemporary Project gallery: Vincent Valdez: "The City." Valdez has described his City paintings as “symbols of modern American society.” The City I (2015–16), a monumental, four-part canvas, portrays a group of adults and children in Ku Klux Klan garb on a bluff overlooking a glowing metropolis at night. The black and white palette recalls the look of historical photographs or old movies, but details such as an iPhone and a Chevrolet truck situate the work firmly in the present day.
The scenes depicted in this work and in The City II (2016), which shows a pile of mattresses amidst discarded trash, are invented. However, as the Texas-born Valdez points out, this underscores their continued relevance and ubiquity: “This could be any city in America. These individuals could be any Americans. There is a false sense that these threats were, or are, contained at the peripheries of society and in small rural communities. It is possible that they are city politicians, police chiefs, parents, neighbors, community leaders, academics, church members, business owners, etc. This is the most frightening aspect of it all.”