Oral history interview with Patssi Valdez, 1999 May 26-June 2
Valdez, Patssi, 1951-
Rangel, Jeffrey J.
Gronk, (Glugio Gronk Nicandro)
Asco (Group of artists)
Otis Art Institute
Self-Help Graphics and Art, Inc
Place of publication, production, or execution:
Transcript: 80 pages
Originally recorded on 4 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 7 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 32 min.
Access Note / Rights:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
An interview of Patssi Valdez conducted 1999 May 26-June 2, by Jeffrey Rangel, for the Archives of American Art.
The interviews were conducted at the artist's home/studio in Los Angeles, California. Valdez discusses her current show at the Laguna Art Museum, "A Precarious Comfort," and the intensely personal nature of the work being exhibited; the liberating aspects of painting and her journey from dealing with the problems and concerns of the Chicano community to a more internal focus in which she examines her personal emotional life through symbol and imagination; how, in her work, landscape has come to represent emotions and states of mind; health problems and her turning to alternative methods of healing; her relationship with Asco and her eventual break from the group to pursue her art studies at Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles (now Otis College of Art and Design) and in New York, and with a NEA grant to Europe and Mexico; difficulties she experienced with her decision to focus on art school and on her survival as an artist, while trying to keep in touch with friends and peers; friendships with Amalia Mesa Bains, Christina Fernandez, and Gronk, as well as with Sister Karen Boccalero whose Self-Help Graphics contributed so much to the growth of a younger generation of Chicano artists; fellow Asco artist Harry Gamboa, Jr., and their mutual goals in their art to subvert Chicano stereotypes; what constitutes Chicano art and how the Les Demon des Anges show changed her perspective; and her ability to create change through her art.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Patssi Valdez, 1999 May 26-June 2. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
The digital preservation of this interview received Federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.
Patssi Valdez (1951-) is a painter, and installation artist from Los Angeles, California. Valdez is known for her boldly rendered works that vary in themes from homages to female deities to mystical environments.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators. Funding for the interview and transcription provided by the Smithsonian Institution Latino Inititatives Fund.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001