Artist and gallery co-founder Luis Valderas is the fourth artist to contribute to the San Antonio Unfiltered project. Be sure to check out all of his photos from the disposable camera in the slideshow at the bottom.
Two artists will be profiled in the SA Unfiltered series for the month of May. The first artist is Luis Valderas, co-founder of the 3rd Space Art Gallery and husband to artist Kim Bishop. Luis is an artist who has always pushed to see farther, helping to transform and explore social and cultural ambiguities.
“As a kid, I used to climb the avocado trees and the tin roof in my backyard – I wanted to fly, but mostly just enjoyed the lack of boundary between space and sky – exploring the possibilities of other spaces,” Valderas says.
His exploration into art started early, his mom had a ceramic and flower shop and the young artist would help by creating wreaths and Dia de los Muertos figurines. Valderas says that, “in so doing, I came to understand that what I was doing held meaning and worth to others as well.”
In particular, Valderas has interests in Mesoamerican mythology and iconography, which has led to his latest series on display at 3rd Space Art Gallery, called El Mariachi Lacho. “I use the image of my father in his 1930s mariachi outfit as an icon and alter ego of the Mexican American hero navigating modern arrays of socio-political structures. I create compositions based on a reinterpretation of ancient myths with contemporary issues.”
For his disposable camera project, Valderas took cutouts of mariachis around town to different locations. The artist typically choses bright backgrounds to contrast with the black and white image of his father, placing together not only two different cultures but also two different eras. The results are a novel way to explore the city and sights of San Antonio.
As has happened with other artists, some of his pictures didn’t come out right. Valderas accepted this from the start saying that, “We’re spoiled by instant images of the digital kind- we’ve lost a bit of the camera dexterity. I remember when I was a kid we were always doing this.” The images that were captured were quite crisp and make you imagine what else got lost on the roll.
The exhibit is open every Second Saturday from 7:00 – 10:00PM at night. If you are at another event at the Gallista Complex or at the restaurant on a Saturday morning, swing on by 3rd Space Art Gallery because they are probably open as well. Be sure to check out the gallery’s Facebook page for more information.