By John Pugsley
Born in Miami and raised in Northern Palm Beach County, Amanda Valdes is a local artist with a style all her own. She has arrived on the local art scene with her dark, cartoonlike, adult-oriented paintings. Full of color and whimsy, her paintings are bursting with emotional expression, bordering on both reality and fantasy.
Valdes shares that she picked up her first paintbrush when she was 2 years of age, and a recent view of her MySpace page depicts a photo mirroring that same image. A young Amanda is seen covered in paint – smiling, with a caption by the artist that reads, “Always the Artist.”
After attending Dwyer High School, she attended Florida Atlantic University for a semester before transferring to the Fort Lauderdale Art Institute. At that same time, she was a fulltime product specialist at MAC Cosmetics. Her artwork began to take off so she decided she had to choose between her full-time job, her artwork and school. Her quest to pursue her lifelong artistic passion was about to take center stage.
“It’s more than just a hobby,” Valdes admits. “It’s a passion. I’m absolutely happiest just sitting down and painting all day.”
Four years have passed since she began her quest and her creative brush strokes can now be seen throughout South Florida. Her proudest piece is a 30’x 60’ mural at Respectable Street Café in West Palm Beach. She’s painted two murals at the location – the first, which took her five days, and a more recent and detailed second, which was painted over 10. She also boasts a mural at Howley’s Restaurant, just off Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach.
Her dark, provocative, waif-like female characters she creates (only two male characters have been created as of this writing) are a flight of the imagination, full of expression, a representation of her views on the world.
In addition to her murals, she has created pieces for musicians and Playboy playmates. She’s been a featured artist at Urban Outfitters in Palm Beach Gardens as well as LF Stores in Palm Beach Gardens, Boca Raton and Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Her artwork can also be seen at Dada’s Restaurant and Strand Salon in Delray Beach and Monarchy Nightclub in West Palm Beach.
Currently Valdes is balancing her time working on commissioned pieces and shows, managing her web site, and providing online updates to friends and fans on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. She’s currently creating four to seven commissioned pieces, including portraits, in her unique, idiosyncratic style.
Her ultimate goal is to have her own gallery in multiple major cities as well as internationally. She’d also like to get into commercial work.
For more information about Amanda Valdes and to view her artwork, please visit her Web site at www.amandavaldes.com. Please refer Alyssa when making a purchase for specials and discounts.