Creative Global Network for the Visual Arts

Tonito Valderrama
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  • dawn hilton
  • hong kong willie
  • David Brazier
  • Hong Kong Willie
  • jan lewin-cadogan
  • Ripe Art Gallery
  • Pieronymus Kosch
  • Verocska
  • Steven Ceraso
  • Sasa
  • Christian Moeller
  • carmen colonna

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Tonito Valderrama's Page

Profile Information

Relationship status
in a relationship
College / University
C.W. Post Long Island University
Program / Degree
Art Education
Member type
If you're an artist, what kind of art do you make?
I am...
An artist who enjoys working with nature and sharing my passion for art with others.

“Study the leaf, rock and tree, there you will find some of the greatest answers to life’s mysteries.”

Art lives in the elements of all living things and is communicated through the universal language of creative expression. As an artist, my goal is to capture that creative language using those materials that speak to me naturally. One branch, one stone, or one leaf at a time helps in building the words to the story I am trying to relate. A simple understanding for the beauty of nature in its grandeur and microcosmic sense is the intrinsic message I seek.
My work speaks of the timeless marriage between man and nature that must not be forgotten. It is a meditative moment in time to reflect on the greatest masterpiece-the earth. We are all part of it, live on it and breath it, yet some still believe she is not alive or just a footing beneath us. People claim their part of her, take her at will and cover her beauty with what they think are more aesthetic and suitable structures. Warm earth, shading trees and soft grasses are covered mercilessly with cold concrete, over towering buildings and hard brick. She is suffocated by selfish endeavors and monetary minds. As an artist I feel a need to express the relationship with nature in a way that makes the viewer appreciate the already artistic textures of bark, flawless forms of stones and the smooth symmetry of the leaves. By incorporating these kinds of small natural elements, I am sharing the basic vocabulary for understanding the earth’s universal language.
When I work with the earth, I try not to dictate its form but rather collaborate with its natural flow. Whether I play off the movement of a branch or piece of bark that inspires the rest of the art or wait for a stone to find its own balance in a composition. The materials teach me in a sense that impermanence; imperfection, irregularity, and simplicity are all aesthetic qualities that are beautiful metaphors for life. Many works wind up relating to my own life symbolically in one way or another. Simple shapes and gestures emerge many times intuitively in basic symbols that I later will find means something very strong in my Native American roots. My work with nature has also helped me to find a deeper understanding of myself as an artist and a person. A drive and motivation fills me when I touch a piece of the earth that might have been shared with a native ancestor or kindred spirit. It is as if I can speak without words, live without time and think as free as the air.
Like life, my art will age and one day fade into the sunset, but not without leaving an indelible mark and statement using the same natural universal language that has inspired me. To work with the earth’s elements as art has taught me to explore with new eyes and to know that art is within everything around us, it is the artist who must stop a moment to recognize and appreciate the true aesthetics of a subject!

“To witness the melting of the snow, the falling of the leaves, and the setting of the sun is to truly understand the beauty of life’s ephemeral qualities.”

-Tonito Valderrama
About my artwork
My artwork, especially the installation art that I create, is constructed primarily from site specific, natural materials. These materials inspire the themes in my works and encourage an intimate dialogue between nature and myself. Each site chosen reveals itself over time and an environmental theme emerges. As I work within the landscape my sensitivity to it grows. If the water is polluted, or the soil is unhealthy, or nature is out of balance, I will begin to see an artistic way to show others. The beauty of nature and its resiliency to our misuse is always present in my work. Most of all, I hope that people will experience a connection to the earth when they view my work. I am intentionally trying to foster a sense of interconnectedness and interdependence to nature instead of detachment. We have to awaken to the scope of these environmental problems, so that our children do not have to visit a museum to see white birch trees, piping plovers and honeybees.
Artists I like
Brancusi, Calder, Andy Goldsworthy, Richard Long,
Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Valesquez
Creating and Teaching Art
Saving the world
Enjoying nature
What exhibitions are good at the moment?
"Visage" Juried Portrait show at the Petite Gallery in Huntington Village on Main Street
Centre of the artworld:
New York

Tonito Valderrama's Blog

Tonito Valderama's One year art installation at the Tilles Center

Tilles Center in collaboration with the Artist's Group have selected Tonito Valderrama's "Flight of the Seven Nation's of Peace" installation for the next Art Under Glass exhibition. This one year, solo show will be soaring in the new glass atrium for the whole Tilles season. Seven 6'-10 foot ,white doves are ascending through the atrium space as a symbol of global peace. Each bird is hand crafted from rice paper and recycled bamboo blinds and is colorfully illuminated at… Continue

Posted on September 28, 2009 at 5:05

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At 4:22 on November 4, 2008, ITSARTS said…
thnks for yout comments on sticking to own culture off & on.
thanks as always,

At 6:47 on September 25, 2008, jan lewin-cadogan said…
do you have any photographs? or a website jan
At 23:11 on August 19, 2008, Kalup said…

At 18:07 on August 12, 2008, David Brazier said…
Nice to hear from you. I like the 'collaborative with nature' aspect. In the community where I live we might apply such a principle even to cooking a meal which may start not with a recipw book and a shopping list but with a visit to the garden to see what is ripe and seasonable. Also, in land management, it is a co-operation with nature to produce something pleasurable or artisitc by shaping what nature provides. This starts with observation of the lie of the land and what grows where rather than with a plan.
At 11:16 on August 11, 2008, David Brazier said…
You are commendably lucid about what you are doing. I like it!

Warm wishes - David
At 13:46 on April 15, 2008, artreview.com said…
Hi Tonito,

Welcome to artreview.com. It's good to read about your sculptures on your profile, it would be great to see some images of your different works, too...

Hope you enjoy the site. Also, check out ArtReview:Digital -- it's ArtReview magazine on your screen every month, and it's FREE
At 3:31 on April 14, 2008, Eliz Alahverdian said…
Hi Tonito. Thank you for coming to my reception and bringing the little one. He really is a hoot!


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