Amanda Valdez

+ Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts: Artist-in-Residence
Spring 2014
Omaha, Nebraska

I think about what the body feels: extreme pleasure and pain. There is pain in the pleasure of having intimate physical contact with another. These brief moments are always book ended with being alone, connections are brief and the rip from them or their dissolution is sobering and sad. This often ignites a full relocation of reality, because reality is shifting on us constantly, causing our bodies to respond to our emotional life. In my paintings I can make something whole- it can all be there- the light, the joy, and the seduction, but there is always a lurking moment to see beyond the wholeness, into the anxiety of fragmentation. The paradox of the co-existing pleasure and pain highlights my interest in paradoxes in general, and how they’re productive locations for me to work with. By the body losing containment for example, ridding itself of poison by ejecting it through it’s orphuses, the mouth or anus, the body can then become healthy and whole again. These are ruptures and they happen in many ways. Sexuality is contained within the body until a moment of feral rapture and we spill out. It’s a physical moment and psychic one. I’m thinking about how my experience oscillates between the two, how a feeling comes from the inside out or how it’s effected from the outside in and the skin is the barrier and surface between these.

Amanda Valdez is a Brooklyn based artist, born in Seattle, Washington. She received her MFA from Hunter College in New York City and BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, additionally she studied at Utrecht University in The Netherlands. Amanda has been the recipient of a Yaddo Artist-in-Residency, MacDowell Colony Artist-in-Residency, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts Artist-in-Residency, and the 2011 College Art Association MFA Professional-Development Fellowship. Recent shows include Taste of Us, Solo Exhibition at Denny Gallery, Double Down, Solo Exhibition at Prole Drift, Floater, at BravinLee Projects, Works off Canvas, at Denny Gallery, El Regreso de los Dinosaurios at Abrons Art Center, in New York, Same Same but Different at Parallel Art Space, in Brooklyn, Guest Spot in Baltimore and SOIL Gallery, in Seattle, MsBehavior at The ArtBridge Drawing Room, in New York, Faraway Neighbor at Flux Factory, in Queens, and Don’t Fence Me In…Or Out at Lesley Heller Workspace, New York.