- Source: ARTNET NEWS
- Author: EDITORS
- Date: FEBRUARY 14, 2020
- Format: DIGITAL
4 Breakout Artists From the Los Angeles Art Fairs Who Collectors Would Be Wise to Watch
These standouts are going nowhere but up
There was a lot to see at the second annual editions of Frieze Los Angeles and the upstart Felix art fair, and as we wrap up our coverage, we take a look at four of the most interesting young artists to watch as the year moves ahead.
Who: Although it’s not unusual for artists to undertake dramatic shifts in their practice before age 40, it’s safe to say that the pivot Manuel Solano had to make in the past six years was more extreme than most. In 2014, the artist (who identifies as gender-nonbinary) lost their sight due to complications from an HIV-related infection, forcing them to completely reimagine their practice from the ground up. Aided by a photographic memory, ingenious problem-solving abilities (including selective use of an app called Be My Eyes, which remotely links users to sighted volunteers), and a daunting display of sheer will, Solano has managed to ascend to a new level of awareness in the art world precisely when logic says they should have been finished.
On View at: Peres Projects, Felix
Why You Should Pay Attention: Solano’s practice combines an accessible pop-culture entry point with deeper emotional resonance and growing institutional clout. Although they have also created more clearly intimate and personal works of late, the film and TV characters, actors, and pop stars they often depict are remnants of some of Solano’s strongest memories from their time as a sighted individual. An increasing number of noteworthy institutions have thrown their weight behind Solano’s work over the past few years, too. In 2018, they were included in the New Museum Triennial, “Songs for Sabotage,” and were the subject of their first stateside solo exhibition at the ICA Miami. Solano is also currently featured in a group exhibition at Dundee Contemporary Arts in Scotland, with a solo show curated by João Mourão and Luís Silva set to debut at Pivô in São Paulo later this year.
Prices: Works at the fair started at $15,000 each, and were going fast. Two were already sold by mid-afternoon on the fair’s VIP preview day.
Who: Although Houston-based artist Vincent Valdez first made the news due to a controversy sparked by a monumental diptych, his practice is far deeper and more varied than a single sensationalistically misread painting. Valdez’s virtuoso figurative works unearth aspects of American culture and history that many would prefer to leave buried forever, from political upheaval to the abandonment of the working class and the poor by society at large. His pieces are all the more powerful because of their understatement.