WHEN SAN ANTONIO artist Vincent Valdez began work on his latest painting, “The City,” in November of last year, the 38-year-old painter had no idea that the real-life counterparts to the whitehooded apparitions that are depicted in his new piece would find many of their racist ideas being floated around in the loaded rhetoric of this year’s presidential campaign. The Ku Klux Klan may still be universally reviled, but this election cycle has proven that white supremacy is still alive in America, and Valdez suspects it may have a familiar face.


The massive, 43-foot-long piece that the artist has spent nearly a year meticulously painting debuted in early September at the David Shelton Gallery, and hangs through Oct. 8. The way that Valdez has painted the Klan members in his piece — holding cellphones, a baby, a beer — humanizes them, bringing home the idea that these insidious figures are everyday Americans. And as he painted each hooded character, the artist says he found himself wondering who was lurking underneath the cartoonish masks. Could they be teachers, doctors, neighbors or councilmen?

“[We] have had an ongoing staring contest in the studio every day for the last 10 months,” he says. “I am as curious about them as they are about me. I fear them as much as they do me. Perhaps this is where we find ourselves in 21st-century America, endlessly drawing lines over histories, territories and differences.”

Art+Culture

Home Improvement & Remodeling is Now Easier Than Ever

THE HOLIDAYS ARE nearing and the next thing to be thinking about is Spring. Ready to make some changes to your outdoor space? Want to create the backyard paradise you have been thinking of? Refresh your spring and summer setting with Brixos.

Keep Reading Show less
Home + Real Estate

1611 South Blvd. was among the hundreds of multimillion-dollar properties sold this year.

COVID WREAKED HAVOC on almost every industry, in one way or another, last year. But the designation of Realtors as essential workers cracked real estate's code to unprecedented success; single-family home sales in 2020 outpaced those of 2019 by more than 10 percent, even with steadily dwindling inventory, per HAR.

Keep Reading Show less
Home + Real Estate

'Wild Symphony' by Dan Brown and composer Karl Blench

WHAT DOES AN armadillo even sound like?

It's a question Houston-based composer Karl Blench had to answer while orchestrating best-selling author Dan Brown's musical suite Wild Symphony, a collection of short pieces composed by Brown to accompany his first-ever book for children. On Saturday, Jan. 23, the Houston Symphony will livestream the North American premiere of Brown's Wild Symphony, with Robert Franz doing double-duty conducting and reading passages from Brown's book. And yes, we're talking about that Dan Brown, author of everyone-but-the-Pope's favorite airplane read, The Da Vinci Code, and six other cryptological thrillers for grown-ups.

Keep Reading Show less
Art + Entertainment