Aqueous – Nature’s Elements

Here’s my second, and sadly, final review for my Buzzcuts internship, first published here. Oh, I am sad that my short but happy life of Buzzcuts writing has ended. It felt especially nice when I met the artist, Richard Valeros, and he asked if I was a fellow artist browsing his work in which I replied, “No, I’m a reviewer.” Ahh, the life of a reviewer, to be so culturally robust and quick witted with a book full of adjectives. My favourite part of the following art show I reviewed below was when I overheard a fellow with an incrediably haughty voice talking about how he had been living off baked beans and microwave meals. In the name of saving up for a decent piece of art work I dare say!


                                  Aqueous – Nature’s Elements Review

Abstract art is perhaps one of the most misunderstood, complex and insulted types of visual art.

“I could do that” is the usual scoff quickly followed by a jaw-dropping reaction to the price. Yet time and time again, the general public is proven wrong about the significance and beauty of abstract art. Blue Poles by Jackson Pollock anyone? That turned out to be a good investment?

Richard Valeros is only a newborn to the world of abstract art, Aqueous – Nature’s Elements is his second solo exhibition since ditching a career in illustration and design. Despite his lack of experience in abstract Valeros’s pieces are far from amateur and convey an incredible amount of beauty and talent. Aqueous –Nature’s Elements contains twenty pieces all in the medium of acrylic on large canvases. Valeros’s art will beckon you to get your sea legs out and journey into the depths of the sea.

Valeros is not shy with his paintbrush, in “The Wave” he paints with bold hues of cool blues with lashings of white paint to create the splashing of turbulent waves. Yet when viewing the pieces up close the amount of fine detail Valeros has used can be seen – details which almost make your lips sting with sea-salt. There are subtle changes in paint tones and unique techniques such as one where he has used the back of his paintbrush to carve out layers of the paint, revealing the raw white canvas underneath.  Valeros’s background in illustration is evident in the piece “Water lilies,” although it is less abstract the aqua and seaweed green strokes tell a story that could easily be attached to a mermaid’s folklore.

If you’re getting a bit sea-sick, it’s perhaps time to stumble back onto dry land with Valeros’s abstract pieces from 2010 which are also on display. These paintings are distinctively different to Aqueous-Nature’s Elements as the focus is the Australian outback painted with warm reds – it makes you feel the crackling of heat in the summer-time.

Aqueous – Nature’s Elements is worth a visit. So, why not defy the scoffers and support Melbourne’s abstract artists?


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