A Tour of Manolo Valdes’ Work: “The Legacy”

By: Dr. Aristides Maza Duerto

I have the opportunity of taking a tour of Manolo Valdes’ “The Legacy” a monumental outdoor sculpture presentation in the city of Doral. An invitation from the Office of Pete Cabrera, Vice Mayor of Doral, Florida.

Manolo Vales (Valencia, Spain, 1942) is one of the most internationally celebrated contemporary artists. His solo exhibitions include prestigious galleries and museums worldwide, including the Guggenheim in New York, the Hirschhorn in Washington, DC, and multiple art capitals such as London, Berlin, Paris, Milan, and more. He has successfully mastered the discipline of drawing, painting, sculpture, and printmaking. In each medium, he proves to be technically skilled and highly original.

Manolo Valdes lives and works in New York and Madrid and has a house in Coral Gables, in Miami-Dade, Florida, and the workshop where his sculptures come to life is located in Miami-Dade. The Doral Contemporary Art Museum (DORCAM) web page explains that in partnership with the City of Doral, the monumental sculptures were installed in the main public parks of the City of Doral. These parks include Doral Central Park, Downtown Doral Park, MAU Park, Morgan Levy Park, Doral Legacy Park, Doral Glades Park, and other selected locations. DORCAM web page also notes that this exhibition is the largest exhibition of his epic sculptures to date. This sculpture collection has been on display since December 2020, and it will remain on display until June 2021.

Millennia Atlantic University (MAU) has the pleasure to host one of these sculptures at the MAU Park: Butterflies. A gigantic head with butterflies all over its head has been the centerpiece of the MAU Park for almost six months, and MAU students, faculty members, and staff have enjoyed having it so close. Nearly every day, I have seen someone taking a picture and just sitting in front of this magnificent piece to appreciate its strange but cute beauty. Naturally, the MAU community will miss the big head with butterflies a lot; however, we are happy to have the opportunity to enjoy it for so many months.

In addition, the DORCAM webpage describes that several programs have been organized around the exhibition throughout its duration. Among those programs, there have been guided tours, VIP guide tours like the one I took with the office of Pete Cabrera, educational programs for students, public workshops and lectures, photography competitions, pop-up displays, performances, and the publication of a special-edition book among others. Unfortunately, like everything, this exposition is coming to an end, and the sculptures’ last day on display in Doral public spaces will be June 6, 2021.

My family and I took a self-guided tour of the sculptures in early January 2021, and my son and daughter were amazed at the magnificent faces display on the different Doral parks. A different experience from the guided tour offered by Pete Cabrera’s office, but the same feeling of amazement. I have to say that just seen these magnificent sculptures in Doral is overwhelming. Some of these sculptures are four times bigger than a human being, and their scale is superb. Standing on the side, in front, or near these sculptures is an experience once in a lifetime. I have no words to express these feelings of overwhelming sensations. One has to have a powerful imagination to dream of majestical sculpture on those sides and scales. The Doral Contemporary Art Museum web page describes this exposition as “The Larger than Life Sculture and Urban Intervention.” I can tell it better; these sculptures are a legacy to the world. Largen-than-life sculptures are an imponent legacy to the world.

Therefore, I write to invite everyone to take the time to take one of the remaining guide tours or to do a self-guided tour with the information provided on the DORCAM web site. Therefore, don’t miss the opportunity to see some of the most beautiful grandiosos and imponent sculptures on earth, on display in our back yard, our city, the city of Doral.