Born in 1977 in San Antonio, Texas, Vincent Valdez didn’t visit Mexico until he was 20 years old. Now, he’s going back again to uncover his roots in this episode of “Back Home.” Valdez, who is known for his paintings and murals about race and masculine identity, interviews some of Mexico City’s most prolific artists.
The inspiration for some of his art came from his younger brother Daniel who became a character in some of his paintings. Together, the brothers explored questions of identity. Since they weren’t raised in a Mexican culture, they didn’t identify as Latino or Mexican, but rather as his brother says, “Blaxican.”
While in Mexico City, Valdez delves into Chicano art and sits down with several artists including Alex Rubio, Jesus ‘Dhear’ Benitez, and founder of Dramaworks Pilar ‘Fusca’ Cardenas. They talk about the significance of massive murals and street art as “a way to get people to see your works, or social issues.”
Journalist Daniel Hernandez drinks up with Valdez. Hernandez gives some insight about Mexican identity from an American perspective. From the Los Angeles Times and L.A. Weekly, Hernandez moved to Mexico to become an editor for Vice and provide a voice for the Spanish speaking public. Francisco Esnayra is a sculptor whose specialty works center on human pain, joy, and eroticism. Eduardo Mier y teran is an art director in the gallery in Mexico. The trio sat down and talked about plans to expand artistic value throughout the city.
After all is said and done Vincent Valdez had one thing to say, “That’s [Mexico City] the Center of the World.”