In times of COVID, innovation and creativity are necessary. In order to safely bring art to the people of our community, The Doral Contemporary Art Museum has recently completed the installation of eighteen monumental sculptures by artist Manolo Valdés in six of the City of Doral Parks. The sculptures are distributed as follows: One sculpture in each of the following parks: Legacy, Doral Glades, and Morgan Levy Park. MAU Park has two monumental sculptures and Doral Central Park has four: three of them face 87th Avenue and ‘Alhambra’, an enormous Corten steel head surrounded by latticework, evocative of the Moorish influence on Spanish culture, is located in front of the lake – a resplendent structure that is not to be missed. The remainder of the eighteen are all located in Downtown Doral Park, within easy walking distance of each other, in a glorious amalgam of mediums and styles.
Born in Valencia in 1942, Manolo Valdés showed artistic ability from a very early age. He studied at San Carlos Academy of Fine Art in Valencia, Spain. In 1964, he became a founding member of Equipo Crónica, an influential Spanish Pop Art group. The group disbanded in 1981, when his lifetime friend, and fellow collaborator, Rafael Solbes passed away. Since then, he has continued to find success working as a solo artist and has participated in over 70 solo exhibitions. A well-rounded art master that excels in drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture, he is not afraid to experiment with the use of different raw materials. He has produced sculptures in aluminum, bronze, Corten steel, glass, polychromated wood, and marble – to name a few resources.
The surprising combinations of raw materials he uses to create his monuments give his large-scale public sculptures an originality and versatility that very few artists are able to obtain. In his creations, he often finds inspiration in well-known art masters, reinterpreting their work, transforming them into new and fresh context, and making them relevant to a modern-day audience. An example of this phenomenon are his Meninas, with whom his name is synonymous – a figure that he derived from the grandmaster of the History of Art, Diego Velazquez.
The artist now has a studio in New York and a second home in Miami. To produce his work, Manolo uses ASU Bronze, a local foundry, for the production of his sculptures. He has graciously agreed to provide his neighbors in the City of Doral the ability to enjoy his monumental effigies at no cost. He has asked the Doral Contemporary Art Museum, a small but prolific institution in our city to lead the charge in organizing this enormous feat. The Legacy, a name fitting the enormity of the exhibition, can be enjoyed while the parks are open in the City.
Mayor JC Bermudez and the City Council will be holding an outdoor festivity to celebrate the enormous success of this exhibition, which has placed Doral in the world stage with many contemporary art capitals. Please join them and members of the Museum Board on February 27 at 4 PM in front of the City of Doral Government Center, located at 8401 NW 53rd Terrace. Free trolley rides to several of the parks will be offered until sunset. Reservations for the trolley and inquiries can be made at the museum’s website: www.dorcam.org.