Manolo Valdes (b. 1942)
Born 1942 in Valencia, Spain, Manolo Valdés attended the San Carlos Academy of Fine Arts where he met Rafael Solbes and Joan Toledo. Together, the three founded Equipo Crónica in 1964, which was to become a cornerstone of Spanish Art in the second half of the twentieth century. The Equipo Crónica dissolved in 1981, and Valdés began a solo career with a studio in New York City.
The early part of Valdés’ career, spent both with the Equipo and on his own, was heavily influenced by American Pop Art, with its strong political and often humorous statements. This early influence and focus later grew into a play on classical and iconic imagery. Valdés, strongly influenced by Renaissance masters such as Rembrandt, Velasquez and Goya, employs some of their iconic imagery and style to create modern interpretations of their work, layering the images with collage and diverse artistic references.
Throughout his career, Valdés has strived to constantly reinvent himself and the art world, looking at historical artistic progress and bringing it into the modern day. Often conceptual, Valdés works to create an intriguing visual puzzle. His work can be seen in public parks and spaces around the globe, as well as esteemed collections worldwide, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museo de Bellas Artes, Bilbao, Spain; Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; Legion of Honor Museum, San Francisco.