Manolo Valdés was born in Valencia on March 8, 1942. He entered the Escuela de Bellas Artes de San Carlos in 1957, where he studied for two years. In 1964 he established the artists' group Equipo Crónica with Joan Toledo and Rafael Solbes in which he remained until Solbes' death in 1981.
Manolo Valdés ranges deftly across mediums, producing witty, art-historically informed drawings, paintings, prints, and sculptures that explore history and contemporary culture, politics and everyday life. Approaching each medium as part of an interconnected whole. Trained as a painter, Valdés grew up imbibing the works of Spanish masters like Diego Velázquez and Pablo Picasso, later becoming influenced by Pop Art. References to Spain abound in his work, in portraits resembling its royalty, sculptures recalling Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, or in the recurring, semi-abstracted figure of the Infanta from Velazquez’s Las Meninas (1656). He now lives and works in New York City and Madrid.
Valdés has received various awards, including the Lissone and Biella in Milan in 1965; the silver medal in the second International Prints Biennial in Tokyo; an award from the Bridgestone Art Museum in Lisbon; the Alfons Roig Award in Valencia; the National Award for the Fine Arts in Spain; a medal from the biennial International Festival of the Plastic Arts in Baghdad; and in 1993 the Medal of the Order of Andrés Bello in Venezuela.
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