Manolo Valdes is a Spanish leading painter born in 1942 in Valencia. In a sense the object of Manolo Valdes’ art was to rebel against the dominance of the European Informel School. This gesture demonstrates the continuous evolution of the visual arts, as one movement succeeds the previous one. The works of Manolo Valdes are also known for their references to historical art works; as such they showcase references from Picasso, Matisse, Goya and Greek history, among others. The artist began his studies in 1956 at the San Marcos Academy of Fine Arts but did not stay the course‚ he left after two brief years, in a hurry to commence his career.
Valdes was drawn to Pop-Art, seeing it as a way of doing battle with the art establishment. Works from this era critique the political regimes of his day. Equipo Crunica, a movement that was an offshoot of Pop-Art, was formed in 1961 as a means for Valdes to collaborate with his colleagues Rafael Solbes and Juan Antonio Toledo. Valdez works in a large style, creating grand sculptures and large-size paintings, as well as collages and etchings.
Valdes has won many awards for his works, including a Silver Medal in Tokyo’s second International Prints Biennial, the Alfons Roig Award in Valencia, Spain’s National Award for Fine Arts and the Officier de L’Ordre National du Merite, in Paris, France. Now living and working in New York and Madrid, Valdes’ work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions and he has also been commissioned for public sculptures such as Reina Mariana, which stands in Monaco and Los Asturcones which stands in Oviedo, Spain.