The contemporary art world has had more than its share of young talent, but it’s tough to recall an artist who has generated as much early-career recognition as Andres Valencia.
In the last year, he has gone from a relative unknown to a bona fide art phenomenon. His surrealist-style paintings were acquired by deep-pocketed collectors like Tommy Mottola and Jessica Goldman Srebnick during Art Basel Miami Beach. In June, he had a solo exhibition at the Chase Contemporary gallery in SoHo, where all 35 works were sold, the gallery said, fetching $50,000 to $125,000.
“I’m glad I can make people happy with my art and they can hang it in their homes,” he said on a recent Monday at the Chase gallery. He was standing before one of his works, “The Professor,” a large, Cubist-like painting of a man rendered in acrylic and oil that stands four and a half feet high — as tall as the artist himself. “This one I did when I was younger, when I was 8,” he added shyly.
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