Rodrigo Valenzuela: Prole
July 17 – September 12, 2015
CUAC is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Rodrigo Valenzuela, an emerging artist from Chile now based in Seattle and Houston.
Raised in a working-class family and having entered the United States as a laborer himself, Rodrigo Valenzuela explores the tensions found between the individual and communities with regards to class, race, and labor. In Prole, Valenzuela focuses on the working class. The iconography and logos of historical labor unions become the departure point for a body of work that comments on the dying spirit of the union force in today’s society. In addition, Prole will include Maria TV, Valenzuela’s recent film that is part of his exploration of forgotten, often invisible labor. Like the artist, the cast features all Spanish-speaking immigrants, and his combination of their monologues with a melodramatic telenovela scene highlights the distorted media representations of working-class women.
Rodrigo Valenzuela received his BFA from the University of Chile in 2004, and his MFA from the University of Washington in 2012. He has been an artist-in-residence at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Center for Photography at Woodstock, and Vermont Studio Center, and is currently at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, and a Core Fellow at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. His exhibitions include solo exhibitions at the Frye Art Museum, Seattle, WA, and the Contemporary Art Museum in Santiago, Chile, as well as numerous galleries nationally. In 2013, Valenzuela received the Genius award in Visual Art, a noteworthy annual award by Seattle’s newspaper The Stranger. He was also selected as one of Smack Melon’s Hot Picks in 2014, and has received the Artist Trust Innovators Award, among others.