Dino Valls Uses Techniques of the Spanish Masters for Surreal Ends

by Victoria Casal-DataPosted on

Dino Valls is highly influenced by the Spanish masters and their studies of the human form. As a representative of the Spanish vanguard of figurative art, Valls’s portraits are precise, sensual, mysterious and surreal. He expands the methods of 17th-century Spanish and Italian masters by employing formal figurative techniques as the medium through which to explore the human mind in a framework filled with symbolism.

Valls recent body of work entails a variety of diptychs, triptychs and polyptychs that, for the most part, feature androgynous bodies in antiquated attire. Many of the details seem to come from a bygone time. However, Valls’s strange juxtapositions of details makes the work decidedly contemporary. For instance, in his 2013 polyptych, RESTAURATIO, Valls inserts bits and pieces of a female’s face onto the middle portrait of a older male figure, presenting scraps and sketches all delicately painted in a collage-like way. Valls began studying the use of egg tempera on wood early on in his career shortly after leaving medical school in 1982. Since then, he has been adapting and customizing it in order to bring a new perspective to this time-honored way of painting.


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