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Wendy White pays tribute to Spain at East Harlem project space

"La Luna de Madrid" (2014) by Wendy White
Arts & Leisure

A project space in East Harlem is currently featuring a show by Wendy White titled Madrid Me Mata. For this show, White presents work that pays tribute to the Galeria Moriarty in Madrid, and Spanish culture in general. These include mostly large-scale paintings hung on a wall in a circular frame with text painted on the front.These works evoke the spirit of La Movida Madrelina, a movement that originated in Spain in the 1980s that embraced freedom of expression and transgression from the taboos imposed by General Franco during his reign from 1939—1975.

White captures the time period with memorabilia such as magazine covers and film posters that honoring the influential Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar. White also gives her viewers a taste of Spanish sports such as futobal (a form of football), and the popularity of the World Cup in the States this year. This comes across in works such as La Luna de Madrid and Real Madrid.

In 1984, the futobal team “Real Madrid” won the UEFA Cup, with a group of players known as La Quinta del Buitre (The Vulture Squad) whose athletic style highlighted Madrid’s independence. The painting Real Madrid reflects this with the number 84 painted in bright yellow, against green strokes of paint. The piece is secured in a gold frame, shaped like a crown representing royalty.

La Luna de Madrid, represents futobal and Spain’s lively culture; the inspiration came from a magazine of the same name. The painting features what appears to be an image of a bird standing on the edge of a cliff with its chest raised and long paint strokes behind it representing wings. In the upper left corner is a sticker of a soccer ball positioned directly over an obscured image of a net. The soccer ball represents the moon shining its light over the city.

At Arts and Leisure, 1571 Lexington Ave. (between 100 and 101 streets), through Sept. 1. The gallery is open Wed.—Sun. from 11 a.m.—6 p.m., or by appointment.

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