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Singapore surrenders to the work of Valdés

The valencian artist exposes monumental sculptures, small format, paintings, and collages

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Singapore surrenders to the work of Valdés

The valencian artist exposes monumental sculptures, small-format paintings and collages

“it All started in Central Park in New York city, re I saw some butterflies that fluttered around head of a woman, and it occurred to me to capture that image in a large-scale sculpture. Who I was going to say that this sculpture would be installed at main avenue of a city and a culture as far away as Singapore?”. Manolo Valdés (Valencia, 1492), explains genesis of one of nine monumental sculptures that can be seen in Orchard Road, main commercial artery of city of Singapore.

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Specifically, it is “Butterflies”, one of greatest works of this exhibition, that reaches up to five meters of height and an amplitude of more than eleven meters, and is made of aluminum. The butterflies are also present on anor head of blue color that is located next to a store of Zara and Massimo Dutti. Valdés laughs when you see this dialog with two Spanish brands present all over world. He adds that “it will also be here, Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz”, in reference to Formula 1 Grand Prix being held in Singapore this weekend. And is that this small country of only 54 years of existence but with one of incomes per capita highest in world (number 11, according to UN) has turned also with cultural activities, such as this exhibition, to take advantage of pull media of this type of sporting events.

After a month in this central avenue of city, nine sculptures and a huge row made up of eight of its well-known las Meninas, inspired by portrait of Queen Mariana performed by Diego Velázquez, will be moved to gardens of The Marina in Singapore where y will remain for six months. Valdés emphasizes “how to change sculptures according to environment that welcomes m. Here, in this avenue, I remember when I made an exhibition with or sculptures in Broadway of New York and when y go to gardens of The Marina is mimetizarán with trees as happened in New York Botanical Garden, and have nothing to do both places with exposure that I have now in City of Arts and Sciences of Valencia, where y are over a sheet of water in dialogue with sculpture of Calatrava.”

And is that Valdés has been one of most outstanding artists in this current trend of contemporary art consistent in showing sculptures in outdoor spaces open to public. Places such as Place Vendôme, Paris, château de Chambord or Chennonceau in Loire Valley, Park Avenue in New York or streets of cities such as The Hague and Düsseldorf, among many ors, have hosted works by this artist based in New York for more than 25 years. “The curious thing about exhibiting in se spaces is that many people find with sculptures without knowing it and appreciates that to make works of art in ir neighborhood and y can see every day,” says artist at time that you observe how several visitors y are portrayed with ir mobile phones in front of ir works. “It is very comforting to see that people want to have a photograph with a work of mine, is a proof that y have accepted, that y have made irs,” he says.

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The artist, one of founders on sixties of Team Chronicle, continues its journey through avenue Orchard, and stops before a huge gold head crowned with many rods of same color. “It's amazing to see how you shine those rods at night with light bulbs, it seems totally anor sculpture,” he says while you will start to hear background noise from racing cars of Formula 1 that have already begun ir training in an urban circuit in which, curiously enough, also runs at night with artificial lighting.

The exhibition is complemented with a sample of more than 45 works, including paintings, small sculptures and collages on Opera Gallery, gallery most prestigious in city. Valdés emphasizes that se paintings present a number of innovations such as incorporation of pieces of wood painted, use of epoxy paint (which started to be used for outdoor sculptures) or even a piece of mirror that has been incorporated into one of his canvases. And is that Valdes is a hunter of images that he encounters in his daily life, in museums that you visit, in shop windows that you notice on way to ir house and n includes m in his New York studio. “My passion is study and when I find an idea outside of studio, immediately I get anxiety for working on it and that's just what I do in studio,” he says with small caveat is 15,000 kilometres from his studio located in Union Square.

When asked about if he has found some inspiration during your stay in Singapore, Valdés states that “I have seen many pieces of pottery that I would like to purchase and n break in my studio and incorporate m somehow into my work.” One idea that can give origin to a new series of works.


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