The art world has found its new sensation. However, it has not come in the usual form. The new hottest prospect in the art world is 10-year-old Andres Valencia, who took this year’s Miami Art Week by storm. The youngest artist to ever hold a show at Art Miami, Valencia, completely sold out of his collection of paintings that ranged from a whopping $5,000 to $20,000.
Aside from being in fourth grade, it is just how brilliant Valencia’s works are, particularly given he’s self-taught, which has caused such a stir. He was totally cleared out of stock over the course of the three days and was visited by some of the biggest names in the celebrity world. He first made headlines when Modern Family star Sofia Vergara purchased one of his pieces.
Vergara wasn’t the only one to pay him a visit. Actor Channing Tatum stopped by to chat with Valencia and his family, as well as actress Brooke Shields. Boxer Ryan Garcia and the real Wolf of Wall Street, Jordan Belfort, also bought his paintings.
Valencia has been painting since the young age of four, and first started his foray into art when copying a painting owned by his parents. He explained that he developed his skills by copying that same painting over and over again. Even more surprisingly, he clarified that he’s never had an art teacher but would love to get one soon. This makes his skill even more mind-blowing when you note just how skilled they are.
It is claimed that the San Diego native was first inspired to pick up the paintbrush whilst watching a film about the late expressionist Jean-Michel Basquiat and told his father: “I can do that”. Before too long, he could. He expanded his artistic repertoire quickly, so his parents were more than happy to buy him whatever materials he needed.
Then the pandemic hit, and Valencia perfected his style. During the days of lockdown, his father bought him large canvases to really take it to the next level. Valencia cites Basquiat, Picasso, Modigliani, Dali and Condo as his heroes, and they permeate his paintings that are a mix of surrealism and cubism. Often drawing human forms, Valencia’s art is incredibly mature for a 10-year-old. It really is quite something.
He also loves to listen to music whilst he paints. As other people his age want to listen to Billie Eilish or BTS, Valencia listens to the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Queen, The Beatles and Michael Jackson when painting.
“I paint in little pieces. I work on it for an hour or two. Then I go do something else. I come back to it the next day and keep adding more,” he told the Miami Herald of his technique. He finds art therapeutic and loves that “you can express your feelings and stuff on canvas”.
The future looks incredibly bright for Andres Valencia. It seems he possesses a real tacit understanding of how art works, and surely this will stand him in good stead moving forward. The next few years are sure to be massive for the budding surrealist, and we’re sure the art world will be keeping a keen eye on him, as his works at only ten are truly breathtaking. He has the makings of someone we’ll be talking about in years to come.
Watch Andres Valencia discuss his art below.