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Featured Artwork

Blue Infanta Margarita

Manolo Valdés

Presented by Opera Gallery for the Mayfair Sculpture Trail Manolo Valdés’ Infanta Margarita stands to interact with its environment at Berkeley Square. As one of Spain’s most renowned living artists Manolo Valdés finds inspiration from old masterpieces by the likes of Velázquez, Rembrandt or Goya, using them as a pretext for creating a new aesthetic. Monumentality in Manolo Valdés’ oeuvre is well-suited to the urban landscape with the round and horizontal shapes that fit perfectly in the avenues and parks, as they soften the rectitude of street lines and building vertical outlines. Manolo Valdés is one of the few artists who have worked with multiple mediums, including drawing, painting, sculpture and printmaking, always originally and provocatively, in a continuous search for reinvention. After 1981, Valdés started focusing on art history motifs, quoting and extrapolating figures from well-known and timeless masterpieces and revitalising them through a change of context. In particular, he sought inspiration in the works of the grand masters of the history of art such as Velázquez, Rembrandt or Goya, reinterpreting the image as a symbol moving away from linear irony. He conceived his creations as ways of bringing the work of art closer to the spectator. From 1982, Valdés began to experiment with sculpture. Together with the Equipo Crónica group, Valdés three-dimensionally reworked the paintings of Francisco Goya and Diego Velázquez as a satirical response to Franco’s nationalism. He broadly explored Spanish artistic heritage to create subversively modern, faceless sculptures. The sculpture “Blue Infanta Margarita” represents “The Infanta Margarita of Spain” painted by Diego Velazquez. In its renewed form, it can be read as a morphological eulogy to the female form. The realisation of the work required the use of proper practical and artisanal procedures, highlighting Valdés’ craftsmanship skills. To realise his work, the artist begins with detailed sketches from which he generates plaster forms enlivened with incisions and marks. The monumental sculpture enhances the resin’s unique properties. It is part of a series dedicated to the same subject, including works in different colours and materials, such as bronze and wood. OPERA GALLERY LONDON 134 New Bond Street, W1S 2TF LONDON Tel: + 44 (0)207 491 2999 Mob: +44 (0)771 386 5207

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