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Ricardo Valverde (A Ver)

Ricardo Valverde (A Ver)

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At his untimely death in 1998, photographer Ricardo Valverde (b. 1946) had for almost three decades documented the various communities and social spaces of Los Angeles. Though he began this lifelong pursuit while still in college, capturing the streets of his South Central neighborhood and the urban landscape of downtown Los Angeles, it wasn’t until the Watts Riots of 1965 that Valverde and his work became deeply political. But if his work became more political, it did so within an aesthetic that grew ever more critical of the tropes and institutions of documentary art.Featuring more than one hundred illustrations, this book—in the landmark A Ver: Revisioning Art History series—records the unfolding of Valverde’s vision, from his first photographs of L.A. streets as repositories of the city’s social history, to his socially and politically acute portraiture, to his surrealist-inflected mixed-media work late in his career, to his role in the formation of the community-based arts groups Self-Help Graphics & Art, Ojos, and Chicano Art Collectors Anonymous. Ramon Garcia’s essay offers a clear framework for understanding Valverde’s art and life, along with a sense of the personal and social politics and history that influenced both so thoroughly.