In 1937, Nazi Germany and fascist Italy bombed Guernica, a city in Northern Spain’s Basque Nation, at the request of Francisco Franco’s nationalist faction throughout the Spanish Civil War. The aerial bombing killed hundreds of civilians, although the death toll continues to be disputed. It also moved Pablo Picasso to create Guernica, the substantial oil painting with anti-war sentiments that lots of take into account to be his magnum opus.
Nearly a century afterwards, the horrors of war impressed one more artist to get to operate: Drawing from Picasso’s Guernica, San Diego-based painter Andres Valencia designed an summary scene named Invasion of Ukraine earlier this yr. In the prime still left corner, a single eye cries on to a Ukrainian flag. In the middle, a menacing soldier with a Russian flag armband clutches a machine gun.
“Andres was in his bedroom as I was viewing and listening to the news about the war in Ukraine,” the artist’s mother, Elsa Valencia, tells Forbes’ Natasha Gural. “… When I walked in I noticed a small 12-inch by 9-inch canvas sketched and colored with marker. I questioned him about the portray. He reported it was the ‘invasion of Ukraine.’ I was completely moved.”
Why did Valencia’s mother casually wander into his bed room? That would be since the artist is 10 decades outdated. During their dialogue, Elsa Valencia offered her fifth-grade son a larger canvas, and he received to work.
But Valencia is no stranger to providing his artwork: He built historical past past December by staying the youngest artist to ever exhibit at Art Miami, where he sold his full 17-portray selection in three times for charges ranging from $5,000 to $20,000, in accordance to the New York Put up’s Jacquelynn Powers Maurice. The consumers now in possession of a Valencia first incorporate Jordan Belfort, Brooke Shields, Channing Tatum and Sofía Vergara.
In June, Valencia introduced his art to New York for a solo exhibition at SoHo’s Chase Modern day gallery. All 35 functions on screen offered, bringing in amounts in between $50,000 to $125,000, the New York Moments’ Alex Hawgood reports. That exact month, Valencia’s Ms. Cube, a vibrant, Cubist depiction of an stylish female, offered at auction for about $160,000 at Hong Kong’s Phillips de Pury.
“I’m so pleased to market my paintings,” Valencia tells the New York Write-up. “I’m not emotionally hooked up for the reason that I know I can usually make another one particular.”
Valencia received his start providing watercolors for all over $20 to spouse and children buddies, per the Times. Bernie Chase, proprietor of Chase Up to date, was one particular of them. He lifted his present on just one work to $100, and Andres countered with a ask for for $5,000. Chase obliged.
Together with the possible, Valencia has the perform ethic: He aims to paint every day. “I paint in tiny pieces,” Andres tells the New York Submit. “I do the job on it for an hour or two. Then I go do anything else. I arrive back to it the subsequent working day and keep incorporating a lot more.”
The young artist suggests his work is motivated by Picasso, Jean-Michel Basquiat, George Rental, Salvador Dalí and Amedeo Modigliani. In the studio, he likes to pay attention to the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Freddie Mercury, he tells the New York Post.
Involving his cultural influences and prodigious expertise, Valencia is some thing of an outdated soul. At the same time, the New York Publish writes, “he’s also continue to a child who collects GI Joe figures and performs with his buddies right after college. In simple fact, he was 20 minutes late for his Publish job interview for the reason that his mom took him to a toy store in between interviews.”
Pokémon and Simply click N’ Participate in army action figures have also encouraged Valencia, he tells the Situations. Perhaps they are connected to his thematic target on troopers and war—and his curiosity in the background of warfare.
“I watch documentaries due to the fact I want to learn. All wars are terrible. I also master about troopers and what they did in the course of the war,” Valencia tells Forbes, talking about Invasion of Ukraine. “… I consider that art tells tales and I am telling the story of the Ukrainian people today and what Russia is performing to them. My portray is telling a tale that can’t be forgotten.”