Born in Spain and currently living and working in New York and Madrid, Manolo Valdés is known for his paintings, prints, drawings and sculptures, which draw heavily from Spanish art history through appropriating and simplifying familiar forms. Many of his subjects reveal art historical motifs. “Caballero V,” for example, which depicts a man on horseback, alludes to the works of Diego Velázquez, the famed 17th-century Spanish court painter. “Regina II” and “Ada,” both busts of women with elaborate headdresses, relate to the paintings of Henri Matisse. Their expressionless, blank faces contrast with the swirls of metal that recall botanicals and galaxies. These three freestanding sculptures’ size and regal presence command attention on UGA’s East Campus. According to Valdés, “The success of the sculpture does not depend on how I envision them when I create them; it is about how the environment creates the sculptures.”
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