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Based on Velázquez’s masterpiece, during the several weeks of the second Meninas Madrid Gallery, the character leaves the painting, dresses in colour and design and becomes 54 different figures scattered around the streets of Madrid as you can see on the map at the end of the post.
Maintaining a common shape, each figure built in fiberglass and 180 cm high, has a different theme in its decoration and design. In order to “dress them”, characters from all walks of life have been used, not necessarily artists.
Among the list of names behind these meninas are singer Rosana, tennis player Rafael Nadal, artist Ouka Leele, chef Samantha Vallejo-Nájera, Paralympic sportswoman Sara Andrés, singer Vanesa Martín, actor Dani Rovira, designer Teresa Helbig or chef Quique Dacosta, to name just a few of the complete list you’ll find at the end of this article.
Two of the most curious meninas that you can find in Madrid are in a real enclave and in the heights.
Next to the Royal Palace is the Menina “Friends 25 aniversario”, sponsored by Warner and made by Antonio Azzato, incorporates next to it a second decorative element, a replica of the famous sofa of the “Central Perk” of New York where the protagonists of the popular series spent many hours of chat and coffee.
And if you are looking for a Menina that is better not to leave in the street, go up to the 12th floor of the central and modern Hotel VP Plaza España Design *****, where you will find the terrace of the Gingko Sky Bar. Dressed in Japanese mother-of-pearl tesserae, the Menina “Lustre de Mar” is exhibited there, crowned by a tiara of 18-carat yellow gold, sphalerites and diamonds.
This information and more, like the concept of the artist, can be consulted immediately and online, thanks to the QR code found at the base of each menu.
In addition to taking Velázquez’s characters to the streets of Madrid, for the enjoyment of locals and visitors who can’t stop taking pictures with them while they go shopping or tourism, the project has a final charitable purpose that last year raised more than 300,000 euros.
After 30 November, when the public exhibition ends, most of the Meninas will be auctioned and the money raised will go to different causes of organisations such as the Rafael Nadal Foundation, the Querer Foundation, the Aladina Foundation, the Ochotumbao Foundation, the Lukas Foundation, Transexualia and the Alain Afflelou Foundation.
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The project is promoted by the Venezuelan artist Antonio Azzato (creator of the figures), the Madrid City Council and the ACOTEX Association (Asociación Empresarial del Comercio Textil y Complementos), within the framework of “Madrid Capital de Moda”.
Caleido, El Corte Inglés, Mahou, Solán de Cabras, Volvo, the television channels Historia, Crimen+Investigación and Blaze, Sephora, Alain Afflelou, Warner Bros, Kia, Helvetia, VP Hotels, Producers of Sonrisas, Iberia, Pescadores del Sur, Clorofila Digital, Distroller, Fnac, Jardines Spiteri and Liquitex contribute as sponsors.
You can consult the location of each Menina in this map, made by “Madrid Fashion Capital”.
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And this is the list of designers, names and location of the meninas of this second edition of the “Meninas Madrid Gallery”.
ACOTEX – Mannequin: Calle de Montalbán, 1
Amparín Serrano – Ñoli, Volando Ando : Puerta de Alcalá
Ana Margarita – The Footprint: Moncloa Interchange
Antonio Azzatto – Angel: Calle de Alcalá, 42 (Metropolis Building)
Antonio Azzatto – Menina Motera (Blaze): Calle de Alcalá, 42 (Edificio Metrópolis)
Antonio Azzato – Menina con mucha historia (History Channel): Calle de la Princesa, 56
Antonio Azzatto – Velázquez, am I beautiful?: Calle Goya & Calle Serrano
Antonio Azzatto – Friends 25th anniversary (Warner): Plaza de Oriente
Antonio Azzato – Menina Guilty?: Plaza de Colón
Antonio Azzatto – Sephorarte: Puerta del Sol
Antonio Azzatto – XC40 – Volvo: Calle Serrano, 26
Antonio Azzatto – Vertical Garden: Europe Tower
Antonio Ferre Hernández – Menina espejo (El Corte Inglés): Corte Inglés Preciados
Antonio Soler – Menina Chaplin Party : Calle de Velázquez & Calle de Don Ramón de la Cruz
Asdrúbal Nadal Rivas (Mapping Pro) – Video Mapping In Love: Peace Market
Begoña Fernández Castaño – The Swiss menina: Paseo de Recoletos, 6
Clara Spiteri – The flower of my garden: Calle de José Ortega y Gasset & Paseo de la Castellana
Dani Rovira – Beautiful, wild and vulnerable Menina (Ochotumbao Foundation): Calle Arenal, 13
Element&Co – Menina Joya Lustre de Mar: Av. de la Reina Victoria, 12
Fnac – Callao Square
Group 7 – Ocean, Infinity: Paseo de la Ermita del Santo, 14 (Madrid Río)
Iberia: Calle de Montalbán, 1
Irene Pérez – Madrid dreams: Plaza de Juan Goytisolo
Javier Limón and Ricardo López – Flying through Madrid (Iberia): Puerta de Alcalá
Jesús Arrué – La Movida (Meninas Madrid Gallery): Paseo de la Castellana & Calle de Genova
Jordi Mollá (Meninas Madrid Gallery): Calle de Montalbán, 1
Jorge Ariza Perkis – My Universe: Orense Street
Laura Cobos – Master Dress (Mahou): Puerta de Alcalá
Luis Alfonso de Borbón: Paseo de Recoletos
Luis Agulló – Sofia: Paseo de Recoletos
Luna Meraki (Sara Gómez) – Flora desencadenada (Meninas Madrid Gallery): Plaza Mayor
Maite Delgado – Applause (Meninas Madrid Gallery): Plaza Mayor
Manuel Espejo – Velazquina: Paseo de Recoletos
Marcos Cabrera – Madrid, the changing creature (Liquitex): Plaza del Callao
María Angélica Viso – Menina Provinces of Spain: Paseo de Recoletos
María Pombo – I like it: Calle Serrano, 47
Miguel Ángel Craviotto – Infanta Rockera (Meninas Madrid Gallery): Plaza de Santa Ana
Miguel Ángel Muñoz – Chiriwinkinki (Caleido): Plaza de Alonso Martínez
Minerva Piquero- Born Free (Meninas Madrid Gallery): Plaza del Rey
Miriam Sánchez Company – Menina solidaria: Calle de Hermosilla, 112
Ouka Leele – In the waters that put out all fires I write your name, Liberty (El Corte Inglés): Plaza del Callao, 4
Pablo de Pedro- La Querida – Maestros Cerveceros (Mahou): Plaza de Santa Barbara 2, and 4
Pastron#7 – Giving colour to a grey city: Calle Montalbán, 1
Pedro Sandoval- Goya’s enigmatic lady floats in the rain: Paseo de Recoletos
Smile Producers: Alcalá Gate
Quique Dacosta – Menina Cocinera : Calle de Velázquez & Calle de Jorge Juan
Rafa Nadal: Calle de Goya & Calle Serrano
Rayma Suprani – Menina Inmigrante (Meninas Madrid Gallery): Plaza De Pedro Zerolo
Rosana – The Heart of the Letters: Plaza Platería de Martínez, 1
Samantha Vallejo Nájera – Tavern: Calle Serrano, 52
Sara Andrés (Meninas Madrid Gallery): Plaza Mayor
Solan – Bakery Menina Bottle in Hand – Plaza de Colón
Vanesa Martín – Menina Mimada (Meninas Madrid Gallery): Chueca
By the way, a curious and cultural note. For those who don’t know, “Las Meninas”, referred to by the nickname of a painting originally known as “Portrait of the Empress with her Ladies and a Dwarf” (1666), were the companion ladies of the apparent main protagonist of the painting, Infanta Margarita.
So you know, until November 30th the streets of Madrid have 54 more points to make a selfie, the meninas of the second edition of the Meninas Madrid Gallery.