The Psychologically Tense Portraits of Dino Valls

Dino Valls is a self-taught Spanish artist whose work is influenced by Italian Renaissance and Flemish art, as well as modernism. The way he frames his work reminds us of lofty and mysterious medieval religious art of years gone by, but he invests his pieces with modern psychological and symbolic slants. He is a skilful figurative painter whose subject matters – often young men and women – stare sullenly towards the spectator. When considering technique with which he has painted these figures, so clearly indebted to past masters, it is easy to believe that Valls is an artist stuck in the past in comparison to the art that has defined our times. Instead, though, Valls is an artist who is very much both an artist and a psychologist of our own times; he is one who has one eye on the past but who cloaks it with a 21st century context.

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