Chicanamama - Valerie Medina

 I seek to show movement in my paintings, to show the color and passion of life. . That is why I have concentrated on musical themes related to wine women and song. . I like to show movement in clothes and fabrics using different acrylic mediums applied with a palette to achieve the cloth like effect.  Culture is very important to me and shows in my work. I am a seventh generation Mexican American descended from people who helped to found the state of California, so my roots are deeply Mexican and Californian. My bi-culturalism has profoundly influenced my art. I paint from my past, mi cultura, mi feminisma. I have a new understanding of why I paint and why I use color to shock and representations of MOVEMENT, MUSIC, SENSUALITY and the FEMININE form to celebrate life in my paintings. 

 Often I paint without a specific plan for an outcome. I TRUST a painting will reveal itself to me. I start simply with a photograph or a snapshot in my minds’ eye of a dancer or a musician, the placement of color follows. Often adding textural elements allows me to give up “control” of the painting itself. Some paintings are "constructs" of polymers, texture, glitter and beads.  I often get ideas for painting when I am meditating or in that state between sleep and waking. My paintings have been called “iconic” because I tend to focus on one thing or figure. When people see my work I want them to be moved…to feel the music, feel the wind of the dancer’s skirt. Collector who purchase are from me usually feel the spirit of the dance because they are they themselves dancers. I believe music and movement is a theme that many people share and relate to in my work. I know a piece is done when I have fixed, changed or added and there is not one area that needs definition or detail. Sometimes that process takes months.

 The addition of textures is synonymous with the “texture” in my life. I use polymers, paint knives, beads, sequins, and notions to add dimension and movement. I am influenced by having the gift of a chronic illness (LUPUS.) Illness has caused me to redefine my life in my own terms and that has influenced my art.  I am also influenced by a beautiful community of CHINGONA artistas that continue to challenge me to be better than the last painting. Life is constantly evolving and so is my art.  I think my work is a “snap-shot” of a moment in time; a time when a passion was felt and life was lived and re-created to entice the viewer to feel it too. Art for me is the path to being whole again. It’s a way to circumvent misunderstanding and gain a sense of trust in myself. Painting is a sure thing for me to express myself without words without even linear thinking…a way to explicitly express joy and experience the danger in living.

2015: Day of the Dead Show at Puerto Alegre SF, CA;2015: Latino HERitage show SF, CA at Pig and Pie Café; 2015 Sabor Del Valle Wine Festival, San Jose; 2015 Pasiones de Frida, San Francisco; 2015: Sheroes show: San Francisco, Pig and Pie; 2014: Curator; Motherhood;The hand that rocks the cradle, saves the world.:2014: RAWartists; Awakening, San Francisco, Ca; 2014: SOLO SHOW @Oakland, CA Urban Furniture, Oakland, CA; 2013: Besos Maya Art Gallery, Day of the Dead show, Oakland, CA.; 2013 Sun Gallery Day of the Dead Show,,Hayward, CA; 2013 Latino Art and Wine Festival, Fresno, CA; 2013 Sabor Del Valle Art and Wine Festival, San Jose, CA; 2013 CHICANO Family Festival, Fresno, CA; 2013 Girls Night Out: Aye Dios Mio Gallery, San Jose, CA; 2012 Celebrando de la Hermosura de la vida; (day of the dead show) Sun Gallery, Hayward ; 2012 CANA CUBAN Restaurant, Oakland, CA.; 2010 Puerto Alegre Restaurant, San Francisco, CA.; 2009 Dia De Los Muertos, Stanford University; 2007 Galeria Tonanzin; San Luis Obispo, CA; 2006 Art Intersections Women’s Art Show, Oakland, CA.; 2003 – 2005Open Studios San Jose, San Francisco, Corazon Del Pueblo, Oakland, Phantom Galleries; Live Art at San Jose Jazz Festival

Art Teacher Children and Adults Gallery of the Sun Art Community Art Center.