JAVA, Jorge A. Valdes, is a self-taught Cuban American artist, living in New York since 1992. Born in Santiago de Cuba in 1956, he began creating art as a teenager. The use of found objects & broken china in his work traces back to his native country during a period when supplies were scarce as a response to to a reality that transcended scarcity in a world where neither abundance nor scarcity can express enough the need of awareness towards a planet which requires all our attention as the only world we can exist. Over time, his use of recyclable materials became a passion and an identity that marks his work.
In 1992, JAVA moved to Miami where, despite abundance, he realized that unwanted material was as subjective and magical as in Cuba. In a reaction to the flushing shine of Miami Beach, in a hidden spot of a parking lot, JAVA created a series of found object sculptures that was shown in Atmosphere Gallery in Miami Beach. Leaving unclaimed whatever didn’t sell, he quickly rushed to NYC where he continued creating art while completing his Masters in Education at Columbia University in 1997. In addition to his incursion as a visual artist, he has published poetry in “Not Black & White” (Plain View Press, 1996) and in specialized magazines. During his career in teaching, the artist continued his passion with art.
JAVA’s art has been featured in various galleries and exhibits in Italy, Cuba and the USA. He was chosen as the artist for the national annual campaign of National Payroll Week, participated in the Southwest Minnesota State University Art Museum exhibit “Reclaimed” and was featured in a documentary of the artist by DEVA International Film during a solo show at Franklin 54 Gallery of Chelsea, New York. JAVA is a 2014 Brooklyn Arts Council grantee receiving the Local Arts Support & Community Arts Fund grants for a public commission and recently finished a solo exhibit curated by Paul Laster, a prominent writer, editor, curator and artist in the art world, at Corridor Gallery of the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation in Brooklyn, New York.
He currently resides in South Bronx, New York and is active in creating public art projects and teaching workshops for local youth in addition to continuing his work in the studio.
My Home Is Not Your BackyardFebruary 26 - March 26, 2017
Curated by Oshun Layne