“He mixes together Darth Vader with a Velázquez pose,” says Angel Quesada, visual arts curator at Talento Bilingüe de Houston. “He’ll take Frances Bacon, stick in Mickey Mouse ears and a ‘Hello, My Name is Frances’ name badge. It’s all very tongue in cheek. He’s not coming at it from a highbrow prospective, he’s coming at it with, ‘This is what I like and I’m putting it in there.’ It’s really quite charming.”
Charming, yes, but there’s also a bit of an edge. In Pope Not So Innocent X, Valentino shows the pope in a a classical pose, one that would be typical of a Velázquez painting. In a pop culture reference, Valentino has added a Guy Fawkes mask, like the one seen in the film V for Vendetta, which hints at a subversive rather than benevolent character.
There’s an opening reception with the artist from 7 to 10 p.m. February 16. (Enter the superhero costume contest, and you might win one of Valentino’s limited-edition prints.) Regular viewing hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. Through March 10. Talento Bilingüe de Houston, 333 South Jensen. For information, call 713-222-1213 or visit www.tbhcenter.org. Free.
Mondays-Thursdays. Starts: Feb. 16. Continues through March 10, 2012