John Valadez

"Beatificado" Modern Tabloid Inspired Religious Social Commentary Painting 1974



Spray paint, acrylic paint, and mixed media on paper


Modern, large scale social commentary painting by California artist John Valdez. Comes with the original sketch as well as a book about the artist. Inspired by the cover of a Mexican tabloid, Valadez invites the viewer to examine the duality of a society that mourns the death of an iconic religious leader and neglects those close to them who are perhaps deemed not worthy of consideration. The bold red headline reads “El cardenal Gabiri será beatificado” (Cardinal Gabiri will be beatified) above a large accompanying image of the cardinal in his casket and two smaller images, one of sobbing mourners and another of the cardinal sitting at the altar. Dividing the image is a subhead that reads, “El pueblo católico está de luto” (the Catholic people are mourning) placed above a depiction of four young boys who seem to be sniffing glue. The adjacent text reads “The indifference of the adults is the cause behind the issues these forgotten children have to live.” This work was exhibited at the Pacific Standard Time, Long Beach Museum of Art in 2011, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in 2012, as well as the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, IL in 2013. Signed by artist in front lower right corner as well as titled and dated in front lower left corner. Currently unframed, but options are available.

Artist Biography

John Valadez was born in Los Angeles. He earned his bachelor's degree in fine arts in 1976 from California State University, Long Beach. He has had several solo exhibitions in Los Angeles galleries, as well as in San Francisco and New York. During the middle and late 1970s, Valadez often worked on mural projects with young people; however, none of those murals still exist. In 1991, he completed a mural for the General Services Administration in El Paso, Texas. He spent 1996-98 working on a major mural commission for the federal courthouse in Santa Ana, Calif. Valadez was one of the founding members, with Carlos Almaráz, Frank Romero and Richard Duardo, of the Public Arts Center in Highland Park, Calif. organized to provide studio space and access to cooperative mural projects. In 1980, Valadez was included in a group exhibition, Espina, at LACE Gallery, Los Angeles, where his work was seen by the owner of the Victor Clothing Co. on Broadway In Los Angeles. Valadez was invited to submit a proposal for portraits to hang in the store; a year and a half later, he completed work on "The Broadway Mural" at 242 Broadway, which remains one of the most extraordinary achievements to grow out of the mural movement: an oil painting eight-feet-high, stretching to 60 feet in length, that depicts in an utterly realistic way the many textures of life on one of downtown Los Angeles's busiest and grittiest streets.


H 92 in. x W 50 in. x D .18 in.
"Beatificado" Modern Tabloid Inspired Religious Social Commentary Painting 1974