A Very Serious Gallery is proud to present In the Palm of Her Hand, a solo presentation of new paintings by artist Taylor Ana Valdez. Through anthropomorphic, dreamlike compositions of fruits, animals, and female figures against deep black backdrops, Valdez creates worlds that aim to expand our understanding of the laws of reality.
September 15-October 14
Mentored by Christopher Remmers, a painter known for his mastery of mythology, form, and illusion, this exhibition unveils a new body of work and a return to painting for Valdez. Drawing upon the histories of surrealism she pulls, pries, and reveals the unseen workings of our existence to illuminate the moments where the invisible becomes visible. Deeply influenced by an ongoing commitment to psycho-spiritual exploration, Valdez began this body of work by identifying 6 major spiritual archetypes - the Personal, Maternal, Paternal, Ancestral, Cultural, and Sibling - and translating these into symbols that appear throughout the series.
These include lemons, eyes, animals, creatures, and structural interventions to the female form, which are a part of what Valdez refer to as ‘Hidden Mechanics’ - that which exists in the beyond to guide and protect us from behind the veil.
Lemons, in particular, appear in many works in the exhibition. Significant in their mystery, Valdez utilizes them as a catalyst to explore meaning-making. What can we gain from the lemon? Adorned with eyes, held softly in hands, graced with butterflies, Valdez asks the viewer to use their imagination. What do we see and what do we know? She points to imagination as a gateway for forgotten knowledge, that in turn reveals the inner workings of our perception. Building upon this quest, Valdez is drawn to sound and vibration as a way to ritualize the painting space and experience. Each work hums with its own frequency.
Together, the works in the exhibition resonate in their preservation of this energy, and mystery, of their making.
Taylor Ana Valdez (b.1994) is a self-taught artist and healer, whose meditative exploration into worlds beyond, heavily influence her painting practice. Following an upbringing in the Bahamas, Spain, and the American West, Valdez studied at the Academy of Art in San Francisco and the KD Conservatory in Dallas, TX. She came to oil painting while living in Santa Fe, where she studied under William Acheff, and later Christopher Remmers. Valdez works as a guide for wilderness rites of passages, a guided, meditative journey of healing and self-discovery. This practice is critical to her work, where she keeps initiatory experiences alive in a culture that lacks soul-centric rites of passages and ceremonies. Valdez is also trained in Ayurvedic and tantric studies.
She lives and works in Whitefish, Montana.