Las Meninas, or Ladies-in-waiting, painted by Diego Velazquez in 1656, is a piece of Spanish art history that questions both reality and illusion. Today, it’s celebrated through the Meninas Madrid Gallery which brings 50 sculpted and painted Meninas to the streets of the city every autumn. The project is curated by artist Antonio Azzato and supported by the Madrid City Council.

For our 65th anniversary year, we sponsored and created our very own Liquitex Menina for the installation. Local artist Maria Cabanas was selected for the commission and given the brief to represent our 65-year legacy. The result is Infanta Tatuada, an artwork inspired by Margarita Teresa of Spain, the young royal from Velazquez’s Las Meninas. Maria tells us “After reading a lot about the Infant Margarita, I chose to work with a swan motif due to its royal associations and elegance. I played with the concepts of painting and body art and wanted it to appear as if she had commissioned me to tattoo her skin. Words, tattoos and art have always gone together so I also added some signature roses and the iconic quote from Liquitex founder Henry Levison, “I’m only happy when I’m trying to create something new”. It’s wonderful these can all co-exist within the same setting.”

The 2020 the sculptures not only bring a color, hope and optimism to the streets but also made a real difference for those in need. All 50 Meninas will be auctioned for charity, with the money donated to the local food bank.

We’ll be participating again in 2021 and are looking for next year’s Menina artist. Acrylic artists are being asked to create their own design proposal and submit via social media using hashtag #MeninasLiquitex65. As well as the chance to create their own Menina, the winner will receive Liquitex materials worth €650.

Find out more about the Meninas Madrid Gallery initiative here. See more of Maria’s art @customizarte on Instagram.