Review: Getting Inside The Outsiders With Kiki Valdes

Recently, curator and fellow artist Kiki Valdes orchestrated a group of incredible personalities and artists to bring forth “The Outsiders.” Miami served as the backdrop for his multifaceted group exhibition. The city filled with influential creatives, tastemakers, and socialites was buzzing with anticipation for what Kiki believes came together naturally. Joined by eleven others, in a warehouse, next to abandoned train tracks, the show was born. We got a moment to catch up with Valdes just a few short weeks after the exhibit to get a better understanding of the man inside “The Outsiders.” Photos by David Cabrera.

LF: What was the inspiration behind piecing together “The Outsiders”?
KV: I just wanted to put together a group show that was after Art Basel. It was perfect timing because I had access to an amazing warehouse and it was a mixture of fate and luck, and acting on those things.

LF: Why a warehouse vs. the usual gallery setting?
KV: If it was through a commercial gallery there might of been a level of politics that I didn’t want to get involved in. The warehouse needed a lot of work and I worked really hard on getting everything ready. I noticed people are attracted to works of art in different settings outside of the gallery. It made sense this time for this kind of show. The roughness worked for us.

LF: Who exactly are “The Outsiders”?
KV: Johnny Robles, Eric Torriente, Kiki Valdes, Nicole Soden, David Marsh, Dianne Radler, Rollin Stirman, Edward Crowell II, Kristy Leibowitz, George Sanchez-Calderon, and Johnny Laderer

LF: What was your favorite piece shown at “The Outsiders” exhibit?
KV: … didn’t have a favorite.

LF: What do you enjoy or get out of curating your own shows?
KV: I enjoy curating because I get  to work with my friends and learn more about their work in ways I wouldn’t of – if I didn’t put together a show. I like putting the whole thing together while gaining respect and trust from my contemporaries. I also love the sense of community that comes with it. It’s so hard sometimes for artists to feel like they are a part of something. I learn something each time about both art and human interaction while doing it.

LF: Tell us a bit about your abstract beauties.. Who are they and why them?
KV: I did 9 portraits based on the 9 Greek muses but of 9 women I know from Miami. To be honest, some of the women I barely even know. I didn’t really pick them, they sort of picked me. There really should be people in there that deserve to be there but aren’t. My reasoning for my picks at times makes no sense at all. I started the series when I moved from Miami. When I started packing thats when I started working on them. I guess It was a form of me saying goodbye.

LF: What artists and creatives would you like to collaborate with in the future?
KV: Guerra de la Paz.

LF: Do you see new trends surfacing in the Miami art world? What are some of them?
KV: Street art is manning the ship & a lot more artist run spaces are coming.

LF: When / Where can we find Kiki Valdes showing next?
KV: New York City, Los Angeles and maybe South America.

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