Andres Valencia, A 10-Year-Old Painter Who’s Rising to Fame
By: Jingwei Zhao
For all of those who do not know who Andres Valencia is, he is a ten-year-old painter that created the abstract painting “Invasion of Ukraine.” That painting was inspired by Pablo Picasso’s “Guernica,” which was made in 1937. “Guernica” depicts the bombing of the Spanish town itself, in which hundreds of civilians were killed.
Despite the joyful and childish personality that Valencia has, some people consider him as an “old soul.” During a conversation Valencia had with Forbes, he told them that “I (he) think(s) that art tells stories and I am telling the story of the Ukrainian people and what Russia is doing to them. My painting is telling a story that cannot be forgotten.”
Valencia’s mother Elsa was watching the news about the war in Ukraine when she decided to step into her son’s room and see what he was doing. She asked Valencia what the painting he was working on was and he replied that it was the “Invasions of Ukraine.” During an interview with Forbes about her son and the painting, she stated that she was “...absolutely moved.”
I have been ranting on about what the “Invasion of Ukraine” is, but I have not yet described it, which is why I will do now. A writer for the Smithsonian Magazine described the painting and wrote, “In the top left corner, a single eye cries onto a Ukrainian flag. In the center, a menacing soldier with a Russian flag armband clutches a machine gun.” The painting had an eerie tone and had many red splotches on it, which I assume are blood.
In case you forgot, Valencia is only ten years old. He is only in 5th grade and likes to play with toys. In fact, he was late to an interview because he went to a toy store along the way. He is currently working with Bernie Chase, who is the owner of Chase Contemporary and has over 20 years of experience in the art industry. When talking to the Times, Chase even claimed that Valencia has potential to be even bigger than artists like Peter Beard and Kenny Scharf.