Born and raised in the South Bronx, Valenti has resided in Washington Township, Bergen County, New Jersey for the past 30 years. He is equally adept in watercolor and oil. Though he paints a variety of subjects, Valenti is known for and has achieved a high level of recognition for his dazzling portrayals of New York City street scenes. In his work, Thomas does not seek a narrative form of expression in the scenes he paints. His vision is totally objective thereby giving the viewer the freedom to respond (to his work) based on individual interpretation. There is an allure and mystery to the work.
His paintings of storefronts, facades of buildings or a street corner transform the otherwise mundane views of city life into a dazzling array of light and shadow. While the artist contends to not being a “storyteller”, through his work, there is a pervading sense of mystery to these paintings that compels the viewer to look further with thoughts that have no boundaries.
His inspiration and motivation comes from the belief that beauty is everywhere in everything. The artist states, “Growing up in the South Bronx has had a profound affect on my life and the way I view the world. I am at home in any urban setting. There is something special about the way light plays upon the surfaces of concrete, stone, steel and blacktop. Shadows that seem to come from nowhere creating the most interesting design patterns. By not living in the city, I have a completely objective point of view toward city life. I'm not affected by the hustle and bustle of everyday occurrences. This forces me to draw from childhood memories which are as clear as day.
So I am in effect painting as if from the eyes of a child”.