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ALCHEMY

If change is cause of anguish and uncertainty for so many, Juan Carlos del Valle accepts the changing nature of life and even more, has hope in the possibility of profound transformation. And this transformation is only possible through suffering: dying in order to be reborn, that is, transmuting into gold but only after having passed through the purifying power of fire. Juan Carlos explores the transforming power of painting and at the same time its physical transformation. In his series of self-portraits Vera Icon, the artist emulates the bloody face of Christ after the Stations of the Cross –a painful journey that culminates in Salvation–, capturing it on canvases whose surfaces he deliberately wears and scrapes as if he wanted the painting itself to experience transformation, a change of nature. Like a melting block of butter, figure becomes abstraction and matter becomes spirit.

Vera Icon III

2014

Oil on canvas

31 x 24 in

Fuse

2020

Oil on canvas

31 x 24 in

Alchemy III

1997

Charcoal on paper

13.5 x 19 in

Drop I

2020

Oil on canvas

24 x 28 in

Butter

2018

Oil on canvas

10 x 8 in