Larger than life...

by - Sunday, October 07, 2012

"Butterflies" in aluminum, a 50-foot-wide sculpture of a woman’s head surrounded by butterflies.
The 6:30 alarm starts the radio, Robert leans over, automatically hitting the snooze button. Already awake, I just figured I might as well get up. With the busy Saturday behind us, this cloudy and cooler Sunday morning awaits to take us to a familiar place, not too far... It is becoming our second home, since we frequent these grounds at least once a month. We hit the road for breakfast en route to the New York Botanical Garden...

There is always something magnificent here.... And this time, I mean really magnificent! One of Spain's most respected and affluent artists, Manolo Valdés is exhibiting seven larger-than-life sculptures, all in metal amid the garden's lush landscapes. “Manolo Valdés: Monumental Sculpture" feature his signature female heads with various headdresses of natural elements towering 17 feet high, with some weighing as much as 20 tons. Each sculpture's location was selected to showcase the link between art and nature, with promise of visual interest through the seasons... in a backdrop of fall's red leaves, winter's white glistening snow and later amid the green May buds of spring of 2013. Mr. Valdés designed the sculptures in his Manhattan studio, but they were made in a Madrid foundry and shipped to Baltimore, then transported by truck to New York.
"Guiomar" in bronze and cor-ten steel depicting foliage that Mr. Valdés modeled after fern specimens he saw in photographs of the garden.
For “Ivy" in aluminum, the headdress is made of swirling rods that evoke open fans and palm fronds.
Mr. Valdés was inspired by the garden’s horticulture, particularly the bombax trees because of their semi-transparency. It reminded him of the latticework of the Alhambra in Granada, Spain.
"Alhambra" in bronze, cor-ten steel and stainless steel
"Arcadia" in aluminum
“We’re always looking for big work that will enable us to bring new people to the garden but also inspire people to look at the garden in new ways,” said Gregory Long, the Botanical’s chief executive.
"Fiore" in bronze
"Galatea" in aluminum
The path to discover these beauties provided a perfect retreat this brisk autumn day. Not even the rain could dampen the beauty of these larger-than-life works of art... xoxo-Sonya

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