The art market has always loved young prodigies. And the latest in line appears to be Andres Valencia.
This 10-year-old American is represented by the influential Chase Contemporary gallery, and exhibited his work during the Art Miami art fair. His career will take another step forward on June 21, when one of his paintings goes under the hammer at Phillips in Hong Kong.
A breath of fresh air will be blowing through Phillips’ upcoming Hong Kong sale thanks to Valencia, the (very) young American artist who has become the new darling of contemporary art in recent months.
One of his paintings, Ms Cube, will be auctioned alongside creations by KAWS, Banksy, Anish Kapoor and George Condo. It is estimated to fetch between HK$200,000 and HK$400,000 (between RM112,450 and RM225,000) – as much as Recurrence CTM818 by the late Korean artist, Kim Tschang-Yeul.
So how did his artwork come to be worth so much?
Ms Cube is one of Valencia’s most famous paintings. It was recently exhibited during the 2022 edition of the Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary Art Fair in Miami. This painting was also featured on the poster announcing the young figurative artist’s participation in Art Miami the previous year. During this art event, Valencia sold all of his exhibited paintings, including one to Jordan Belfort, the former trader who inspired Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf Of Wall Street movie.
A future big name of contemporary art?
But the American stockbroker is not alone in having acquired art by Valencia in recent months.
Actors Sofia Vergara, Channing Tatum and Brooke Shields all have works by the prepubescent painter in their collections. The hype is such that the Chase Contemporary gallery has decided to represent this boy, which some media are even hailing as the next Picasso.
The Spanish master is, in fact, one of Valencia’s inspirations, as are George Condo and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Indeed, the he began painting at the age of six, after watching a documentary on the enfant terrible of contemporary art. He has since perfected his figurative style, halfway between surrealism and cubism, as well as his working method.
Like many artists, Valencia has his own particular routine.
“I paint in little pieces. I work on it for an hour or two. Then I go do something else. I come back to it the next day and keep adding more …. You can express your feelings and stuff on canvas,” he told the Miami Herald.
He creates his colourful works standing on a stepladder in his family’s home in San Diego, California, in silence or with music playing in the background. His favourite artists include Jimi Hendrix, Queen, Michael Jackson and The Beatles.
While we’ll have to wait until June 21 to find out what price Ms Cube will fetch, Valencia’s career shows no signs of slowing. His first solo exhibition will open in New York on June 23.
The name of the show is No Rules. In it, art lovers will be able to discover about 30 paintings created by the artist during the last two years – when he’s not at school, like other kids his age, or playing outside with his friends. – AFP