Patssi Valdez @ Castelli Art Space

July 27, 2018

At the Sanguine Gallery Launch Party & Inaugural Exhibition, Ms. Patssi Valdez provides a good demonstration on understanding the importance of originality and novelty in artwork. If the aim of art is to elevate the soul through the appearance of the transcendent encapsulated by the artwork itself, providing a spiritual exercise for the subjective viewer, then this is best accomplished by introducing the inconceivable to the subjective mind. The sublime shock is an electrifying regeneration of a proper, healthy outlook upon the world which fosters good conscience that will reverberate in all aspects of one’s humanity – most importantly by a voltaic loading of optimism when approaching the permanently uncertain, as is constant to the human condition.

When artwork does not meet these onerous targets, it is rendered as nothing more than a pretty craft. Kitsch as they call it. Not intentionally aping high art and thus wrestling with pantomiming duplicity, but acting as a small shadow of the Platonic Truth that high art closely resembles. Kitsch may beautify an otherwise insipid space, but that is its highest fulfillment. It does not dare entertain a higher level of severity on exploring what it means to be human.

 

In this sense, the artwork exhibited by Ms. Valdez is kitsch. Both the paintings and colorful vases are predominately ornamental with the subject matter not introducing any complex ideas beyond appearing beautiful. While there are some works which gesture at surrealism, they are minute compared to a concentrated effort on representing ordinary still-life. And when taken in combination, these surrealist ideas are overrun and sapped of their intrigue.

What’s left is a collection of decorative pieces, but not work that is concerned with stirring the human soul.

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