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Embed code for: Island Playing at War
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Island Playing at War
ASU ART110 90883
Jose Bedia Valdes. Isla Jugando a La Guerra. 1992. Acrylic and objects found on canvas.
(Jose Bedia, n.d.)
(José Bedia Valdés, 2016)
(Jose Bedia Valdes, n.d.)
Valdes was born in Cuba in 1959. He is an award-winning painter who studied at Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes “San Alejandro” and finished at the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana (José Bedia Valdés, 2016). Valdes enjoyed many forms of art from a young age including drawing, comics, and illustration. He has had a lot of inspiration from his background with comics and belief in the characteristics of blended indigenous faiths (Jose Bedia, n.d.). Jose has also been described as having a “rebellious dissident ideology” by a teacher after explaining his perspective on a piece he drew of an Indian on a horse shooting a gun (Valdes, 2016). In 1993 Valdes moved to the United States and now works from Miami, Florida.
Valdes often works simplistically with the thought process of doing more with less. Due to this simplicity, his pieces are not products of a “bookish study” but more of a connection to information from his experiences. These experiences make people call his artwork native or traditional (Jose Bedia Valdes, n.d.). Valdes is a priest of Palo Monte, which is a religion that has ties with nature. Being a priest, tied with his excellence in art, has not only allowed his work to spread nationally but internationally spreading awareness and knowledge of these traditions and religions that he practices.
In Isla Jugando a La Guerra a lot of his background is present. This piece is one of his earlier pieces of work, created between the time that he moved to Mexico and the time that he moved to the United States. Valdes made this piece very simplistic. There is a geometric background with very structured shapes in the foreground. The contrast in colors is narrowed down to the minimal three or four colors in the piece. He makes this piece a little more complex with the mixture of media including small wooden planes in the hands and wooden blocks on the legs.
There is inspiration from electric influences and Native Indian cultures in Isla Jugando a La Guerra. Valdes tries to bring out “the presence of the past in the present” (Object of the Month, 2016). You can see the electric influence through the spots of highlights on a dark background. These highlights are emphasized around the very static figure in black due to the higher contrast in color. The highlights show the electric influence due to that high intensity in contrast as well as the placement of these highlights being strung out at if they were on a wire of lights. The Native Indian inspiration comes through the figure in black. It is very centered and incorporated with nature. This same example also where Valdes’ cultural and religious belief come to light. The fact that the figure has trees on its legs exemplifies his expertise in incorporating being a Palo Monte priest.
Valdes uses overlapping as well as atmospheric perception in order to establish a difference between the depth and dimension of the central figure and the background. A lot of the marks in the piece are extremely precise. The fact that they are that crisp makes it hard even to realize that it is done in acrylics on a canvas and instead looks more like a print or a collage. There are also very precise marks within the central black figure that are lighter to show dimension within the flat figure. However, his marks are of variety if you look at the background. The black and green lines are not as precise as the pure black figure. These lines add to the fluidity of the movement they make around the central figure. The highlights are also rather soft around the edges showing the true appearance of light which adds to the connection between the piece and reality.
The aspect of nature expands further than just the trees on the central figure’s legs. The green hues in the background are very natural. The figure itself is a very simple figure showing the nature of a human without adding any distractions such as clothing or other unnecessary materials. Some of the materials included in the piece also contribute to the nature aspect. The planes are made of wood as well as the blocks within the figure’s legs. The fact that the human (central figure) is sitting with its legs in an organic manner while playing with planes is very natural and simulates childhood when is arguably when a human is in its most natural state. This primitive state also adds to his theme of the past’s presence in the present by having the viewer connect the figure to themselves and the way they played with toys in their childhood.
I first connected to this piece visually for the organization that it had. It pleased my eyes due to my OCD and then I looked further at the figure and connected to the center of the piece which is what appears like a human. I first thought that the piece was going to be more feministic in its meaning/process due to the composition of the figure and how soft it was in the background. I also made this connection due to the life growing from its body and it playing with toys like women often do while expecting a child. I liked the contrast in the very static colors throughout the piece. I liked that the canvas was not the typical square or rectangle. One last thing that I enjoyed visually about the piece was that there was a mix in media. For a majority of my life, I have focused specifically on the use of singular media. I have done sculpture, ceramics, drawing, painting, etc. with one type of product whether it be clay or a book or what have you. Therefore, seeing the incorporation of wooden objects into an acrylic piece provided me with a reminder that art is truly flexible and you can take it anywhere you want to. I gained an even greater appreciation for the piece after I was able to do some research into the artist and the background going into the completion of it. That is the beauty of art
Jose Bedia. (n.d.). Retrieved from Artslant Worldwide: http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/3792-jos%C3%A9-bedia
Jose Bedia Valdes. (n.d.). Retrieved from AskART: http://www.askart.com/artist/Jose_Bedia_Valdes/110163/Jose_Bedia_Valdes.aspx
Jose Bedia Valdes. (n.d.). Retrieved from Without Masks: http://www.withoutmasks.org/index.php/artists/jose-bedia-valdes.html
José Bedia Valdés. (2016). Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jos%C3%A9_Bedia_Vald%C3%A9s
Object of the Month. (2016). Retrieved from Phoenix Art Museum: http://www.phxart.org/event/83cf4f07-5246-785e-8566-68fdceb9d9ec
Schwab, J. (2016, October 26). Island Playing at War Photo. Phoenix, Arizona, United States.
Valdes, J. B. (2016). Biography. Retrieved from Jose Bedia: http://josebedia.com/biography/
RUNNING HEAD: ISLAND PLAYING AT WAR1
ISLAND PLAYING AT WAR8e Valdes’ cultural and religious belief come to light. The fact that the figure has trees on its legs exemplifies his expertise in incorporating being a Palo Monte priest.
The aspect of nature expands further than just the trees on the central figure’s legs. The green hues in the background are very natural. The figure itself is a very simple