Some people are lucky enough to be prodigies of their chosen skill. Such is the case for Andres Valencia. At just 10 years old, the talented abstract painter has accomplished many of the things that career artists dream of. He’s had a solo showcase at Art Miami, a one-person show at New York gallery Chase Contemporary, and he's sold his pieces totaling over $100,000. Andres also counts A-list stars as his collectors, including Diane Keaton, Channing Tatum, and Sofia Vergara.
Having grown up in a house that lauds art, Andres' parents—Elsa and Lupe Valencia—knew that their son was a gifted artist, and Lupe also collects art. In having modern and contemporary artists in their home, Andres was (and continues to be) exposed to great creatives. He studied some of their works and copied them for himself, which is a common practice when you're learning art. The boy also began watching videos about painting, eventually getting his hands dirty and experimenting for himself.
“When he was 4 or 5, my wife and I would watch him paint and do sketches, and we were really surprised at what he would do,” Lupe says. “On one hand, you think you like it because you’re supposed to like what your children do. But as time went on, things got more sophisticated and evolved. When Bernie Chase, who now represents Andres, came over when he was 6 or 7, he decided to represent him. He told us that Andres is going to be an important artist.”
Andres’ drive and talent are perhaps best displayed in a piece titled Invasion of Ukraine. The artist painted it shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. He was devastated by what he heard and chose to express himself via visual art. The piece is inspired by Picasso’s iconic anti-war painting Guernica (1937). Like Guernica, Andres’ Invasion of Ukraine is full of symbolism, part of which includes an eye above a Ukrainian flag. This portion of the painting expresses what much of the world is feeling about Russia trying to take over a democratic nation.
“I want people to know that Ukraine won’t give up and they’ll keep fighting,” Andres explains. “I want it to be known as the Guernica of today. [Picasso] made the painting for Guernica and didn’t want the people of Guernica to be forgotten.”
Prints of Invasion of Ukraine will be sold to raise money for the Klitschko Foundation, an organization that provides humanitarian aid to the people in Ukraine. There are 550 prints available for $950 each, and 100% of the proceeds benefit the organization. The prints will go on sale on September 9, 2022.