Santero: Sculptural Works by Jorge A. ValdesJan 18th - Mar 1st, 2015
Curated by Paul Laster
334 Grand Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11238
Open to the public Sundays 12-6 and by appointment
334 Grand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238 (718) 230-5002
Santero: Sculptural Works by Jorge A. Valdes
Curated by Paul Laster
January 18th – March 1st 2015
Jorge A. Valdes, aka JAVA, 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. Corridor Gallery will be presenting Santero: Sculptural Works by Jorge A. Valdes, curated by Paul Laster as the first solo exhibition in the Corridor Gallery Project space of 2015. The opening Reception will be held Sunday January 18th 4-6pm. In conjunction with this exhibit there will also be a special event, Ofrenda: A Peek into the Practice of Santeria held Sunday February 7th 4-6pm, as well as a closing reception Sunday March 1st 4-6pm.
The use of found objects and broken china in his work traces back to his native country, during a period when supplies were scarce. Using everything from crushed cans and broken dishes to abandoned metal and wood, JAVA has created a body of work reminiscent of the mystique and beauty of Santeria, a syncretic religion of West African and Caribbean origin that’s been influenced by Christianity. The artist’s sculptures reference the deities, animals, objects and places related to the ritualistic religion, while the exhibition’s title “Santero” alludes to the priest or maker of Santeria. JAVA’s attitude of “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is a meaningful one, which he takes seriously in his dedication to the work.
JAVA’s art has been featured in various galleries and exhibits in the US, Cuba and Italy. He was chosen as the artist for the annual campaign of National Payroll Week, participated in the Southwest Minnesota State University Art Museum exhibit “Reclaimed” and was represented in a documentary about his life and work by DEVA International Film during a solo show at Franklin 54 Gallery in Chelsea, New York, in 2011.
In addition to his activities as a visual artist and teacher he has published poetry in “Not Black and White” (Plain View Press, 1996) and a variety of magazines. He became a 2014 Brooklyn Arts Council grantee, receiving the Local Arts Support and Community Arts Fund grants for a public commission. He currently resides in the Bronx, New York, and is active in creating public art and teaching workshops for local youth while continuing his work in the studio.
Curator, Paul Laster is a writer, editor, independent curator, artist, and lecturer. He is a New York desk editor for ArtAsiaPacific and a contributing editor at FLATT Magazine, Whitehot Magazine and artBahrain. He was the founding editor of Artkrush.com and Artspace.com; started The Daily Beast’s art section, and was previously art editor of Flavorpill.com and OneWorld Magazine. He frequently contributes to Time Out New York, Art in America, Modern Painters, ArtPulse, and The New York Observer, ArtInfo.com, and and has written for Interview, Paper Magazine, Flash Art, Newsweek, amNew York, and Artnet.com. In the late-’80s, Laster was an Adjunct Curator of Photography at PS1 Contemporary Art Center, now MoMA PS1.