Camila Valdez’s PetSculptures

Sensuality could be as simple as a luxuriously sweet treat from a bakery or as complex as the silky length of a woman’s bared legs, but these two aspects merge into a singular whole within the art of Camila Valdez. And while an observer’s attention might initially be attracted to her works’ decidedly feminine appendages, it is her anthropomorphic confections’ expressively bold colorations and exaggerated shapes that ultimately capture one’s heart.
Evolving out of a journey that Valdez has been on since a year after completing her industrial design studies at the University of Buenos Aires, the artist’s hand-painted fiberglass and epoxy resin sculptures invite viewers into a whimsical world filled with the secret aesthetics of everyday delights. But, more impressively, this invitation isn’t merely a passive one; the audience is encouraged to interact with Valdez’s works, to touch and connect with aptly named characters like Miss Cupcake, Miss Donut, and Miss Popcorn.
“Usually, if people have art, they have it on their shelf, untouched and perfect”, explains Valdez, “but what about showing the world which art [pieces] you like?” In her philosophy, this is accomplished by “bringing art to our everyday lives, publicly, out of the galleries”, she says, “making it something more normal and acquirable”. And taking this concept further than she had previously, Valdez’s newest sculpture series figuratively begs their owners to take them outdoors for a walk.

Camila Valdez’s PetSculptures

“You are invited to participate in the PetSculptures Public Art Project for kids and adults”, began the email Valdez sent to a select group of volunteers, each of whom were entrusted with an original sculpture for six months. During that time, they were to document public interactions with the art pieces, each person having “committed to walk[ing] them in public spaces”, the artist reveals, “to manifest a trove of inspired responses to art”.

“The hypothesis is that the PetSculptures may act as an emotional bridge for interaction with people and the world in which we live”, Valdez clarifies, allowing humans to connect to one another through art. In fact, the artist admits, “shy people told me they could interact much easier with others through the piece” as “it gives [them] something to talk about”. And as conversation pieces, whether used interactively in public or passively displayed within a home collection, these creations have multiple layers of details to engage the viewer with.
“The PetSculptures have a little character on top of them, kinda riding them”, Valdez illuminates, further explaining that these “are the ‘piece’ that connects my already known works with this idea”. Clarifying, the artist reveals that the “PetSculptures were born as the pets of my [previous] sculptures”, such as Miss Donut and Miss Cupcake. In fact, many of the PetSculpture works have gained individual names or, as Valdez refers to them, “breeds”, such as her personal piece being Swiss Roll. And this reveals the depth of connection each owner has felt with their PetSculpture creation.
Perhaps a loftier goal than their ability to connect people, PetSculptures are also meant to “immerse both children and adults in a common world”, Valdez admits. Not only allowing adults to access a playful and nostalgic part of themselves, “a flashback of how things were [for them] as kids”, Valdez emphasizes the equal “need to connect kids with art”, which her series impressively accomplishes. As she explains, “for kids, it’s something that you have to take care of”, her pet-like confection creations educating children on how to respect and properly treat art without pushing a “do not touch” mentality.
“Art should never be left unfelt”, Valdez exclaims, “I feel like that is taking away our connection with the subject”. And even in a world where interactive art has been a flourishing phenomenon for forty years, it feels like this Argentinian artist’s concept of ‘sculptures as pets’ is pioneering new ground. Ultimately, Camila Valdez’s fresh and engaging ideas just might be shaping the art of the future.

Camila Valdez is currently accepting commissions, including the customized creation of one’s own PetSculpture. Please inquire with the artist directly to learn more:
http://www.camilavaldez.com/#contact

For more information on Camila Valdez:
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