Valido: The Graffiti-Inspired Abstract Expressionist Painting The Music Of His Culture
From the vibrant streets of Miami's Little Havana to the international art scene, Valido, a Cuban-American abstract expressionist artist, has carved a unique path with his striking abstract expressionist artworks. His Cuban-American heritage, coupled with his love for Hip Hop and Afro-Cuban Jazz, has given birth to a body of work that resonates with both the personal and the universal.
Featured artworks by Valido
The Story Behind The Art
Valido's journey into art began at a young age, inspired by the graffiti that colored his neighborhood. His first major piece, 'El Conguero', is a tribute to the legendary Cuban musician Mongo Santamaria, known for his work with the conga drum and his influence on American jazz musicians like Herbie Hancock. This piece opened the door to the rest of his Descarga Series, with each subsequent work dedicated to significant Cuban jazz musicians.
“El Conguero” is the first piece he completed from his Descarga Series. It's a tribute to Afro-Cuban Jazz musicians that created Cuban Jazz. This painting depicts the spirit of Mongo Santamaria, and it opened the door to other pieces that are being exhibited around the world. His other Descarga Series works such as “Bebo” and “Manteca” will be shown by Madrid’s Monat Gallery in Luxembourg’s Art Week. Latinismo Art will be exhibiting “El Piquete” and “El Barrio” at Thames Art Center in Brooklyn New York.
Connecting With The Audience
Valido's art is a reflection of his culture and community. From the spiritual guides of the Afro-Cuban Orishas, Cuban slang, exiled neighborhood legends of Little Havana Miami to current political messages, his work is a tapestry of influences. This unique blend of cultural references, combined with his vibrant color palette and layered technique, sets his work apart in the industry. He connects with his audience mainly through Instagram where all his exhibitions have come about.
The Future Of Valido's Art
For Valido, the ultimate goal is to inspire change through his art. As a self-taught artist, he's faced challenges, particularly in the business side of art. However, these challenges have pushed him to network with other artists, creating a supportive community that has greatly helped his journey. He hopes his art will continue to inspire and motivate others, as well as contribute to positive change in Cuba.
Valido's future plans for his art include producing a lot of work that can inspire and motivate others as well as himself. His ultimate goal is to think that his art, would one day, inspire change on the island of Cuba. He considers his art to be abstract expressionism and he uses multiple mediums when he paints, from acrylic to oil sticks to oil pastels and spray paint usually on canvas.
What Makes His Art Stand Out?
Valido's unique artistic style is a reflection of his culture and his community. His muse is his culture. A culture divided. One culture that’s still on the island oppressed and struggling day to day to survive. The other in exile, trying to create a voice that is strong enough to be heard to over throw the dictatorship on the island. Same culture, divided and separated by the ocean and their circumstance. All of this with a twist of the hip hop culture he grew up being apart of is his influence.
He feels his art is unique with not just his subject matter but also with his colors and overlapping technique. If you look at one of his paintings every image can have multiple layers giving each subject multiple personalities and characteristics. His style has many influences from Picasso, Dondi White, Doze Green, to Basquiat and Richard Hambleton.