Wes Valdez – I Am Only Dead to the Living

Wes Valdez 8th and Poplar

Wes Valdez Skull Study 7

Wes Valdez 11th and Norris

Wes Valdez Untitled

Wes Valdez Uprooted

Wes Valdez Skull Study 1

As an MFA student at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, Wes Valdez is focusing on the concept of death and the ways humans cope with loss through burial practices, memento mori, and the sublime. Glass is his medium, death is his focus, and urban decay is his color inspiration.

In his manifesto of sorts on his website, Wes explains what specifically interests him about death that I find somewhat relieving,

“Take a moment to imagine what death looks like, feels like, smells like, tastes like, and sounds like. The initial thought of death may lend easily to an instinctual fear, such as rot and decay, but I am speaking of the exact moment life leaves the body. I can never understand death. I will lose consciousness before I pass. Once I am gone, I am only dead to the living.”

View more of Wes’s  work and words about death at wesvaldez.com.