Rodrigo Valenzuela in the Factory, an art gallery on Capitol Hill where an exhibition of his opens September 10. By the end of 2015, Rodrigo will have shown work in 19 exhibitions around the world this year alone. The Stranger Genius Award winner also has work in the Frye Art Museum's exhibition Genius, which opens September 26. Photos by Kelly O / Questions by Christopher Frizzelle
Is that a flag?
Yeah. If you take labor-union logos and turn the shapes upside down and eliminate the letters, they look like soccer teams. This work is about the dying spirit of the labor movement. [Smoothing out the wrinkles of one of the flags] TSA opened this shit. They're like, "That looks suspicious." They did the same in a show of my prints once. There were fingerprints all over my prints.
You photograph yourself in your work often, so is it strange when someone else is taking the photo?
Yeah. [Laughs] I cannot Photoshop myself.
What do you think of the Seattle Art Fair?
Having this pumped-up energy is good. There's something about the fairs—people like that energy. I think it's great for this city. [Smiles] You look at new art from a fancy gallery in Tokyo or something, and you realize there's shitty art everywhere.