February 6, 2017 by Laura Gomez


(…) Valls is, as far as talent, as gifted as Dalí. As for what he has to say about the world we live in, he is a much deeper and more serious artist.
From the text “Dino Valls – Psicostasia”, for the catalog of the exhibition “Psicostasia”, Galleria Il Polittico, Rome, May 2006.

Edward Lucie-Smith
(Art Historian, critic and writer)

(…) The works of Valls are made to last. (…)

There are still more ways to look at art, and one in particular must be applied to the type of work produced by Dino Valls. His way of applying the technique, meticulously organized, is the opposite of spontaneity. In fact, the first thing that occurs to us when trying to describe his art is that Valls is, in the strictest sense, a conceptual painter. The conceptual element of his work stands out more when we add that the figures he uses in his works are pure inventions, not even models taken from real life.

(…) is the Spanish representative of a new and intriguing type of art that is beginning to challenge many of the respected presumptions of 20th Century Modern Art and the notions about what is and is not vanguard. (…)

In Valls‘ paintings, it is the psychology of the scene that is the protagonist. His figures, never inspired by real life as I mentioned before, are essentially like urns that enclose emotional events, in which we can examine their content through a transparent crystal.

His figures now challenge us in their own identity. What they represent is something that does not have to struggle to be modern or contemporary as these terms are understood today. They are not comforting images. They do not resemble the comfortable armchair to which, according to Matisse, all good paintings must have resembled. These works impress by their technical prowess and the delicate poetry they evoke. At the same time, what is striking is the precision with which the uncertain spirit of our times reflects. Not only does precision make these works memorable, but the intellectual sophistication that conceives them makes the message communicate more strongly and sharply. In a time when we have almost completely forgotten what a good painting is, in Valls we find the work of an artist who is fully aware of his powers.

From the essay “Painting by Dino Valls” for monograph “Dino Valls – Ex picturis”, Mira Editores, Zaragoza, 2001.

(…) A Spanish artist who chooses erotic subtexts is Dino Valls (n. 1959). (His work) demonstrates his extraordinary level of pictorial talent and the way he makes use of classical archetypes at the same time as he contradicts or subverts them. (…)
De Art Tomorrow, Ed. Pierre Terrail, Paris, 2002.

Fernando Castro Flórez
(Professor of Aesthetics and Theory of Arts at the Autonomous University of Madrid, art critic and curator of exhibitions)

(…) We could understand the whole aesthetic of Valls as a kind of speculation about the condition of the contemporary subject. His paintings are mirrors where anxiety and the painful process of unfolding of the personality is settled. The darkest monster is actually inside us. The most beautiful and even “angelic” bodies are wounded and, from the space of representation, we are challenged. Images in apostrophe in which the faces impose the abysmal dimension or, better, medusea of the look. We can not escape the dismayed or disturbed look of the figures painted by Dino Valls, those eyes are on the edge of something we do not understand, as if they were expecting something that we can not do. Their symbols allegorize the unconscious, tangentially naming the drives, alluding to processes of transformation, retaking a thought that goes beyond the reticulation exerted by the rational. (…)

Christina Sotiropoulou
(Chief Conservative of Frissiras Museum, Athens)

The viewer who is facing for the first time a work of Dino Valls will live a unique experience that is not limited to an aesthetic pleasure, something predictable in a work of art, but also manages to completely surpass what until then was perceived as a reality .

In essence, the painting of Dino Valls is an alternative way of visualizing, a different interpretation of objects and situations that are usually implicit or taken for granted. The viewer has the impression that the pictorial surface before him develops in a parallel universe that absorbs and integrates immediately, upsetting the dimension of space and time that until then considered familiar. However, nothing is what it seems in the world of Dino Valls, and our senses go from being an instrument of perception and comprehensive understanding of the world that surrounds us, to a tool that reinvents and reinterprets it.

(…) Overflowing with a metaphysical force and expressive precision, his painting has managed to update concepts and characteristics that for a long time seemed to have been displaced from the vocabulary of contemporary pictorial movements, which sought to renounce figurative painting definitively and with Her, to any connection with the past.

In the context of postmodernism and the broader scope that this movement has founded for the current figurative reality, Dino Valls presents a proposal that stands out for its intellectual power and its plastic mastery. It reinvents realism by completely destroying the very concept of reality and revealing the subjectivity of its pieces. Time is no longer linear and the narrative becomes internal and codified. (…)

From the text “The Enigma of the Metaphysical” for the catalog of the exhibition Retrospective “Dino Valls”, Frissiras Museum, Athens, November 2011.

Alicia Guixá

Art is the only means that allows man to unite his logical thinking and his magical thinking, redeeming him of the deep dichotomy that exists between both. Curiosity urges us to cross the terrain of logic, making our gaze go beyond the recognizable. Perhaps this is the point of inflection of the thought that leads us to the unreality in the painting of Dino Valls.
One of the privileges enjoyed in the dedication to art is that which refers to a special form of possession. Although the desire to apprehend one person to another is never fully achievable, to recreate an image whose possession begins and ends strictly in the actual recreation itself, is an eminently artistic prerogative, which, in addition to being much more satisfactory, accompanies Another aspect of no less importance: the concept of endopathy, according to which to paint a figure must be converted. And just as all paintings are self-portraits, mirrors are hung on the walls, which extends the relation of participation and incidence between the work of art, the author and the spectator.

On the other hand, the relation between the one who looks at and what is looked at, being based on the projector power that the unconscious makes arise in the one that contemplates, causes the appearance of the archetypes and ends up establishing an active communication between the work and the receiver. The eye discovers the painting and it reveals what we know only intuitively: the irrational. And it is in our attempt to rationalize it when the conflict arises, which comes from our collective cultural unconscious, to which scientific inquiry continues to try to unmask.
In the same way that the dream dresses of reality to become identifiable with the conscious, the painting of Dino Valls conceives its plastic idea starting from the inner unreality of the artist. Neither realism as naturalism, nor a shallow personal focus of the real world concerns you. It is not the exterior and its objective reality that attracts, but the opposite. It is a search within one’s self, to delve into what is stored the underlying experience. The painter reveals in his work these deep conflicts, and the spectator recognizes them as part of his internal struggle, since they belong to the same human essence.

Text “Some notes on the painting of Dino Valls” for the catalog of the exhibition in Heller Gallery, Madrid, December 1993; And for article in Prestige Magazine -Spiral of the Arts, no. 44, Madrid, December 1999.

Gabriel Villalba
The mystical reality. The hidden reason: The relations that this painter establishes, beyond aesthetics, are related with the deep contemplation of the most spiritual, almost religious, that can lead to the ecstasy of the knowledge of the highest. The whole work of this artist revolves around the transformation of what we once called reality into an iconology or catalog of images that acquire their ultimate transcendence, not in their pure meaning, but insofar as they are in service or are complemented with that of others Figures or things represented. (…) Above all, Dino Valls is not a realist. His head, his hands work with another matter, with other pigments and components that lead him to fiction, to the invented world that simulates a nonexistent reality. (…)
There is anguish where there is love, there is eroticism where death is. Where the obvious is dismissed there is life. You will meet a painter where there is thought.

Carlo Fabrizio Carli
(Art critic and curator of exhibitions)

To arouse astonishment, to capture attention through stupor, has always been an essential feature of artistic work. And this is both in regard to the external observer and the artist himself, which is often overlooked – even without the prospect of a compositional automatism – with results that go beyond and / or modify the initial project of the work , Inasmuch as the aesthetic act is eminently magical, even shamanic, and mysterious. It must be recognized, however, that at present it is not frequent to encounter such elemental fascination, with this original pleasure of painting.

Certainly this is not the risk we run with the Spanish painter Dino Valls (…). Valls is an artist who in no way leaves indifferent: fascinates and even rejects; Restless and maybe hurt. But it is impossible for his paintings to arouse a feeling of habituation.
(…) Valls, in short, is a striking virtuoso painter who, over a period of twenty years, has applied himself to study in detail the techniques, iconography and iconology of 600 years of Western art; A painter obsessively determined to achieve perfection, both in technique (his preferred – although not exclusive – is the sophisticated egg-on-table tempera, with glazes of oil paint), as in the resolution of the image.
(…) Valls is not at all a realistic painter, in any case, quite the opposite. An art of his own, imaginative and mental, metamorphic, often visionary, always separated from direct comparison with nature, and nourished by the history of art. It is also possible to raise the hypothesis of a conceptual value (…)

Suscitare meraviglia, catturare l’attenzione through the stupore, è, da always, proprietà essenziale del fare arte. It is a matter, both as regards the rights of the artist and the artist, that is to say, the spesso di fronte – anche to the prestige of the compositional automatism – ad esiti che transcendono and / or modano l’iniziale progetto dell’opera, in How much the aesthetic act is eminently magical, scientific, and mysterious. Occorre tuttavia ammettere che attualmente non riesce certain frequent imbattersi in tale elementare fascinazione, in original question piacere della pittura.
Non è davvero il rischio che si runs with il pittore spagnolo Dino Valls (…). Valls is not a certain artist of lasciare indifferenti: affascina and poi magari respinge; Restless and forse ferisce. Ma è impossibile che i suoi quadri suscitino un sentimento di assuefazione.
(…) Valls, go detto subito, pité provvisto gave a surprising virtuosity; During a ventennio, if it is convenient to studiare meticulously the tecniche, the iconography and the iconology of 600 years of the western art; A pittore ossessively attempted to the attainment of the perfection, sia nella tecnica (which preferred – not exclusive – the sophisticata tempera all’uovo su tavola, with velature di pittura ad olio), che nella risoluzione dell’immagine.
(…) Valls non è affatto a realistic pittore, semmai proprio il contrario. Art, his, immaginative and mental, metamorphic, visionary non di rado, always distaccata dal riscontro diretto with natura, and tutta nutrita della storia dell’arte. È stato anche possibile ipotizzarne una valenza concettuale (…)

From the text Dino Valls – Barathrum “, for the catalog of the exhibition” Barathrum “, Galleria Il Polittico, Rome, February 2004.

Alberto Abate

(…) Valls’s painting associates with a very refined technique, an intellectual and cultural complexity, which leads and subjects the spectator to the vertiginous charm of the vision of an abyss.
(…) The actors living in the abysmal painting of Valls are the naked bodies of boys and girls, men, women and old people, subjected to an inexplicable game that gives them, as prenatal victims, a puzzling and unknown tyranny . The dramatic intensity of these sacrificial bodies announces and denounces the tragedy of human destiny.
(…) Valls represents not only this corruptible flesh, but also paints the skin, the dermis, in a prodigious way, which is both the mysterious, luminous and dark wrapping that gives man the essence of the sacrifice of his Own destiny.

(…) The pittura di Valls associates a raffinatissima technique an intellectual and cultural complessità, che inducono e sottomettono the spettatore to the fascino vertiginous of the visione di un abisso.
(…) Gli attorney che vivono in l’abissalità della pittura di Valls sono i corpi nudi di fanciulli e fanciulle, uomini, donne e vecchi, sottoposti ad un gioco inesplicabile che li consegna, come vittime prenatali, ad una tirannia enigmatica e Sconosciuta. L’intensità drammatica di questi corpi sacrificali, announces and denounces the tragedy of the destiny umano.

Manuel Merchán

(…) The painting of Dino Valls, within a technical and thematic coldness, is open, precisely for this reason, to all kinds of conjectures, because it wants to capture everything that can not be expressed or apprehended with reason. And that is its paradox. It is the conjunction of the conscious with the unconscious, of the subjective with the objective, of the easy with the difficult, of the circumstantial with the eternal. There enters the view of the spectator who projects on the canvas all their joys and restlessness, arriving at a symbiosis so perfect that you no longer know who is who, what is what … (…)

From the article “The historical memory in Dino Valls” in Antiqvaria, núm 83, Madrid, april 1991.

Javier Rubio Nomblot:

(…) Dino Valls is a great painter, his work itself is a tribute to art and to spirituality that, in times more focused on the transcendent, gave its reason for being. (…)
The eyes of his figures are tremendous not only because they communicate an emotion – also the Picassian eyes do – but because they contain the blood, the tears and because, behind them, is the whole network of nerves, around the bones, because Every thing has been studied, understood, assimilated with Leonardesque meticulousness. (…)

From the article “The humanism of Dino Valls” in The Point of the Arts, Madrid, 19 April 1991.