Valeria Cavestany spends both halves of her life in two countries – Spain and the Philippines. Perhaps this can be attributed to the historical bond between both places that root her to them and allow her to easily oscillate from one to the other.
Born to a Catalan father and Filipino mother in Barcelona, Valeria left Spain for the Philippines at an early age.
As much as both Spain and Philippines' historically reference each other, both places are melting pots of different cultures. It is questionable, then, if the dynamo inherent to them suit the free-spirited personality of Valeria or if it is precisely the characteristics of these places that make her vivacious. In the same vein, Valeria is inseparable to her lifework as she plots out connections between cultures, searches for and translates beauty and transcendental ecstacy. Working with different medium – watercolor, sculpture, paint, multimedia – supports her life-premise of inquiry, and her reference to Friedrich Schiller's view on aesthetics having the unsettling power of surprise and transformation. "Alle Kunst ist der Freude gewidmet - All art is dedicated to joy."
Her artistic vocation began in her studies on Textile Design in Escuela de Diseno Textil in Barcelona. These roots influence her fascination towards patterns and throughout the evolution of her works she represents textile in her montage pieces. Her background on Textile Design allowed her to turn and return to painting on canvas, which is after all a textile material.
Amidst the recurring floral, still life scenes and portrait pattern, she likewise is known for her depiction of Chinese women. This can be referenced to her education on Chinese painting in Manila from and her accomplishment of a degree in AB Asian History in the University of the Philippines in Diliman (. She recounts that her fascination with Chinese culture has been with her since she can remember and that “China epitomized to me the other, the extreme Orient, a faraway magical land with ancient traditions, a land inhabited by beautiful women with tiny feet and strange customs so different from my Mediterranean roots.”
Most Important Exhibitions
Her works have been shown extensively from 1990 to presently in Manila galleries such as Finale Art File, Ayala Museum, Manila Contemporary and Galeria Duemila. In Spain, she exhibited in Supermercado del Arte (La Coruna, Barcelona and Madrid) and Casa Asia. Other participation include Ainscough Gallery in London, Museo de la Acuarela in Mexico, the 2005 Flag Festival in Eppingen and Ilayda Sanat galerisi in Istanbul.
She exhibited with a group of Filipinos loosely called the bastards of misrepresetntation in New York, then in the MOAM( museum of art modestes ) in Sete France.
She is preparing for an exhibit in Manila, working on a book about Manilas most exciting artists and experimenting with ceramics.