Born 1978, Chicago Ill

Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY


2001 University of Texas, Austin B.S.

2005 Texas A&M University Ph.D.


Rodrigo Valles is a NYC-based, self-taught artist. He taught himself to oil paint around the age of 26 although he spent quite a bit of time writing graffiti as a teen. Painting is not his only profession, though it is his passion. He is a neuroscientist by trade. Rodrigo is of Mexican heritage, born in Chicago, Illinois and spent his early years in Dallas, Texas. Art was always an interest but only took root during his high school years when he committed himself to learning and creating graffiti on the streets of Dallas. His focus then shifted to his education until he moved with his wife to the West Indies. With free time for the first time in over 8 years, he taught himself to oil paint. This provided the vehicle to marry urban aesthetics and traditional fine art in a way that was uniquely personal. Rodrigo had his first solo show in August of 2011 at CultureFix on the Lower East Side of New York City. He has sold and showed his work regularly since then.



Rodrigo’s works highlight the visual allure and representative imagery of decaying infrastructure. Even in his youth he viewed spray paint art as fine art because it was innovative and expressive. As such, his love for graffiti makes frequent appearances in his surreal and abstract paintings. Delving further into the psychology behind his art, Rodrigo believes that encounters with sadness, confusion and destruction force an assessment of what is truly precious, thereby becoming moments of insight. The physical manifestation of this is seen in his juxtapositions of urban aesthetics and life. He uses gestural backdrops to counterbalance imagery of strength, both human and animal. His mixed media paintings also document the organically developed, pleasing, abstract nature of city settings. His works attest to his belief that fabricated environments create progress, chaos, and in some cases, unforeseen art.