Sandra Mack-Valencia
Medium: Painting

Studio Location:
Silks Building - Studio# 402
37-24 24th Street



Artist Bio:
Sandra Mack-Valencia is a Colombian painter. Her work has been exhibited in museums, galleries and institutions in Colombia, Japan, Paris, Italy, and the United States. She is a recipient of the Nathalie Angles Award, the Sommerville Arts Prize, and was nominated for the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant. She participated in the (S) Files Biennial at El Museo del Barrio in New York. Sandra was chosen as one of the Outstanding Antioque??os in the World, and her art practice was featured in a documentary that aired at her native city Medell??n. Sandra got her Bachelor's degree in Visual Art from La Universidad de Antioquia in Colombia. She now lives in New York where she graduated from Hunter College and where she continues pursuing her career.

Artist Statement:
I am a painter that loves stories. I grew up in Medell??n, Colombia listening to fairy tales and urban legends, so it is not surprising that my work is infused with strong narratives.

My work is nurtured from childhood experiences and inner memories. I grew up during one of the toughest times of our country's history. The drug wars were vicious to say the least, and it was often that I felt that the magical realism from Garc??a M??rquez was a necessary invention to survive such violence. My paintings seem innocent and almost na??ve at first, but a deeper contemplation would throw the reading to a different direction.

Over the years I have developed my own visual vocabulary, which includes elements like void spaces, patterns, and photo transfers. I nurture my paintings from many sources: found pictures, old drawings from nature and anatomy books, movies, fashion, literature, old photographs found in flea markets, etc. I often combine photo transfer with drawing and painting. Photography references to both reality and memory, while drawing and painting allow me to bring an intuitive response to the images. Patterns become exaggerated, colors transformed, and shapes simplified. I regularly bring the sharpness and boldness of illustration techniques, combined with a loose and emotional reaction to the materials. I also believe in the power of images and words, and it is often that I consciously incorporate text in my paintings to add a double meaning to the visual.

My personal philosophy is quite simple: Everything one does should be beautiful. It is not a denial of reality, but an acknowledgment that beauty is still present ???and needed in our acts, our thoughts, our ideals, and our interactions with the world and with the other, especially nowadays when racism and hate speeches are becoming normal. Beauty can work politically and critically if we consider it not only as a specific kind of aesthetic pleasure, but a means for critical engagement.

I am eager to explore into new challenges to bring new aesthetics to my work, while keeping the core of my interest: The belief that art can bring us together.

All images and text copyright Sandra Mack-Valencia