Original Medium: Mixed Media – Ink, Acrylic, Digital Media on Paper
“Meta Mirror I” (above)
Location of box art: 8th & O Streets
“Meta Mirror II” (below, click image to enlarge)
Location of box art: 7th & Capitol Ave
Northern California artist Bryan Valenzuela lives and works in Sacramento. For over a decade he’s been aiming to perfect a unique drawing technique involving the atomization of the figure by carving out shape and light with handwritten text. Though virtually unnoticeable from afar, once the viewer steps closer to each work they are engulfed in a barrage of words intermingled with other mixed media elements such as needle and thread, acrylic paint, and collage. When not working in the studio, he’s composing and recording music, performing and touring with the band Exquisite Corps. http://exquisitecorps.bandcamp.com
Building images with the written word is my primary visual focus. Paragraphs, sentences, phrases, and fragments are all the DNA of my work. Similar to the concept of DNA, the language acts as both form and content. As form, the text delineates figures and subjects layer upon layer as shading. Words varying in size from the miniscule and unreadable, to large and bold are used in a manner similar to crosshatching with pen and ink. As content, the language provides a sense of the inherent information and associations, metaphors and meanings embedded in everyday existence. The words come from a spectrum of sources ranging from original excerpts from journals, poems, songs, and automatic writings to quotes from popular culture, literature, science, and sacred texts. They are utilized as a meditation on the image itself in both literal and figurative ways.
Foremost in each piece is a draughtsman-like attention to rendering in detail. A fascination with exactitude and precision which demands a constant process of image collection, and lengthy research into subject matter. The images are gathered from multiple venues. Self generated photographs, archive photos, old anatomical drawings, even star charts and architecture become the raw material with which to compose preliminary sketches in Photoshop. They are later translated onto large scale canvasses in mixed media. On a general level, the subject matter explores connections between perceived opposites. The work aims to weave disparate elements into a whole. An idea alluded to in the use of sown scraps of canvas as a foundation. On a specific level, it seeks to combine concepts from the scientific and the spiritual, the mythic and the mundane. It searches for symbols that meld together interests in the natural world, psychology, religion, and astronomy to name a few. All of them becoming, piece by piece, the building blocks of each image.