Luis Peralta Del Valle
Award-winning artist, Luis Peralta Del Valle was born in Nicaragua in 1980 and migrated to the U.S. in 1985. At the age of 13, he started painting graffiti murals in the District, Maryland and Virginia. A few years later at Bell Multicultural High School, he began his formal artistic education, continuing his studies at the Corcoran College of Art and Design.
In 2013 Luis was selected as the winner of the East of the River Distinguished Artist Award. That year he was also a finalist for the District of Columbia 28th Annual Mayor’s Arts Awards. These accomplishments preceded the presentation of the National Museum of Catholic Art and Library National Artist Award by Prince Lorenzo Maria De Medici in 2014, and his selection as the artist commissioned for the 2015 Beijing / District of Columbia Sister Cities Project. The latter project resulted in a panda statue painted by Del Valle that was given to the Mayor of Beijing as a state gift from Mayor Muriel Bowser. Del Valle is also the recipient of the 2015 National Museum of Catholic Art and Library Portrait Award. In 2017 Luis was honored with the NCIS Director’s Coin by NCIS director, Andrew L. Traver.
In this politically charged moment filled with divisiveness and negativity, my mantra of love, hope, and art require me to encourage others to focus on our shared humanity. Life is full of the good, the bad, and the ugly, so we must be careful to not lose sight of the struggles and pains of others when things are going good for us. My double portrait, The Journey, uses children as the vehicle for this call to awareness and action. As a blessed person and nation, we must not forgo our humanity in an effort to maintain material wealth.
Visually, The Journey is a double portrait of immigrant children. Symbolically, the two figures are actually one person. The child with the halo around his head and his eyes closed, focused upward and inward, represents divinity and the purity of children. The second child, resting on the shoulder of the first, engages us locking his gaze with our own, forcing us to contend with his humanity and recognize the dignity of every person.
Selfie and The Trumpet are the first paintings in my Inside Out Series. The works in this series reconceptualize portraiture. They provide experiences in which I take the viewer beyond the superficial to reveal the inner being of the subject. I invite people to journey into the spiritual essence of the arts embodied in the human form of the artist.
I’m a painter always feeling like an explorer, not necessarily creating but instead discovering. I embark on journeys on which I use my senses to navigate. I feel, smell, and hear colors and movements, enjoying our quiet conversations. My process of discovery for this series differs from previous explorations. The Inside Out Series does not begin with sketches. Rather, I embark by ripping geometric shapes out of recycled brown paper bags, copy paper and US postal stickers.
Once I have a collection of shapes I apply them to canvas or wood panels using matte medium as an adhesive and isolation coat. Next, I split or rip the bubbles to get the air out and create more texture. This prepares the medium for painting. When I begin painting I start with a realistic human form. Once that is completed I attach or paint a palette onto the portrait. Portraits that use actual palettes incorporate palettes I have used over the last seven years. This is my process of exploration.
At the end of a recent voyage, a reflection of my inner being materialized through acrylic on artist palettes and a 48" X 72" wood panel with recycled paper. This self-portrait, SELFIE is comprised of a range of colorful qualities inherent in the creation of my artistic form. For I didn't choose to be an artist, I was created to be one.
A key element of my self-discovery are the two palettes. They represent the internal colorfully controlled chaos within me. It is this organized confusion that creates. It is the essence of my being. This serves as my intro
Unlike my first venture, my second trip in this series manifested the inner being of a musician, The Trumpet. This Inside Out portrait interprets the soul of the artist into a range of color on a palette I painted onto the piece. The colors translate the musical tones incarnate in musicians, expressed through their audible art.
Luis Peralta Del Valle
Washington, DC, USA
Saturday, August 24, 2019
(3 - 5 PM)