Valero Doval’s artistic collage series, Aerofauna, draws equally on avian and aviation themes. He artfully combines the head, torso and wings of birds with the tails of well-known aircraft from World War II. The beauty of Doval’s collages is that they capture various species of birds and match their coloration with the tail sections of aircraft, such as from old profile books that date to the 1940s and 1950s. The subtle color sense of Doval comes through in each collage and one gets the sense that the two parts were somehow meant for each other all along.
A hawk sports the tail of an Italian bomber, another bird carries the trademark tailfeathers of a AVRO Lancaster bomber, and a bluebird carries along a F6F Hellcat. The camouflage and squadron markings of the planes match perfectly with the natural coloration of their avian ancestors. In each, the concept is simple — yet the idea is powerful.
The traditions of aviation art are hard to break. Nearly all aviation art these days depicts exciting scenes of warbirds tangling over the skies of Dover or racing across the snow-covered steppes of the Ukraine, and so forth, usually signed by the great aces of the day. While those artistic works are simply stunning, Doval has stepped out of the narrow channel and shown that there remains a wide landscape of creative styles and new directions yet to explore.
When it comes to aviation art, perhaps the sky’s no longer the limit.
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