Artist’s Uniform #10: Tomás Valentine


Tomás Valentine is my Mexican Catholic alter-ego. The name is derived from my middle name, Thomas, and my Catholic confirmation name, Valentine. My maternal grandmother, Rosalie Placencía Ralf, was of Mexican decent and raised Catholic in El Paso, Texas -- this piece is dedicated to her.

Tomás was born during a residency organized by galería perdida in Chilchota, Michoacan, Mexico in July 2013. Rosario Garcia, a retired Los Angeles hairdresser (and the galería perdida artist Andrés Janacua's mother) cut my hair and beard every morning for a week, creating TV's new look.

Since Tomás has left Chilchota, he has been sighted in Mexico City, NYC, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Phoenix, and Baltimore. He also was chosen to serve as the Holy See delegate at the People's United Nations (pUN) -- a project by Mexican artist Pedro Reyes that premiered at the Queens Museum in November 2013.