Rodrigo Valenzuela’s work in photography, video and installation constructs narratives, scenes, and stories, which point to the tensions found between the individual and communities. He utilizes autobiographical threads to inform larger universal fields of experience. Gestures of alienation and displacement are both the aesthetic and subject of much of his work. Often using landscapes and tableaus with day laborers or himself, Valenzuela explores the way an image is inhabited, and the way that spaces, objects and people are translated into images. His work serves as an expressive and intimate point of contact between the broader realms of subjectivity and political contingency. Through his videos and photographs, Valenzuela makes images that feel at the same time familiar yet distant. He engages the viewer in questions concerning the ways in which the formation and experience of each work is situated—how they exist in and out of place.
Rodrigo Valenzuela (b. 1982 in Chile) lives and works in Los Angeles. He completed an art history degree at the University of Chile (2004), then worked in construction while making art over his first decade in the United States, completing a BA in Philosophy at Evergreen College (2010) and an MFA at the University of Washington (2012). Currently, Valenzuela is an assistant professor in the Department of Art at the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture. Valenzuela's solo exhibitions include: Galerie Kandlhofer, Vienna, Austria; Klowden Mann Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Art and History, Lancaster, CA; New Museum, New York, NY; Arróniz Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City, Mexico; The USF Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, FL; Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, CA; Orange County Museum of Art, Santa Ana, CA; Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Eugene; Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR; Frye Art Museum, Seattle, WA. Valenzuela has completed residencies at Light Work in Syracuse, NY; a Core Fellowship at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture; ME; Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, NE and the Center for Photography at Woodstock, NY. He is the recipient of several awards, including the Painters and Sculptors Grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation (2017), Open Sessions Artist at The Drawing Center, NYC (2016-17), an Artist Trust Arts Innovator Award (2014), the Texas Contemporary Award (2014), the Stranger Genius Award (2013), and the University of California Artist Research Grant (2015).