Madrid’s Modern Meninas

Courtesy of Meninas Madrid Gallery

How does Azzato’s public art project reflect Spanish culture?

A new public art installation in Spain’s capital features figures from Diego Velázquez’s (veh-LAS-kez) painting Las Meninas, reimagined as fiberglass sculptures. Velázquez’s 1656 masterpiece hangs in Madrid’s Prado museum. In the painting, the Spanish artist depicts prominent figures of King Philip IV’s Spanish court wearing elaborate gowns. Contemporary sculptor Antonio Azzato (uh-ZAH-toh) re-created two of the figures in the painting as 6-foot-tall sculptures.

Azzato invited fellow Spanish artists, fashion designers, and celebrities to help him transform the sculptures. First he posed the question “What does Madrid mean to you?” Then each contributor created a design that symbolizes Madrid for one of the sculptures. Azzato installed more than 80 sculptures, each with a unique design, in various locations throughout the city. “[This project] is a tribute to diversity,” he says, “. . . to a city that welcomes the whole world.”

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