86 misses en traje de baño (86 Beauty Contestants in Swimwear)

Equipo Realidad

Valencia, Spain, 1966-1976
  • Date: 
  • Technique: 
    Acrylic on board
  • Dimensions: 
    Triptych: 116 x 279 cm / Each part: 116 x 93 cm
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The Equipo Realidad was formed by Joan Cardells and Jorge Ballester in Valencia in 1966, during Francoist developmentalism, and was voluntarily dissolved ten years later when, against the new background of the transition to democracy, the members thought it necessary to close down the project. The Equipo Realidad was connected to critical figuration, developing heavily political painting using images appropriated from everyday reality and art history. Using themed series, the team looked at social change in the 1960s, which was marked by increasing technology, consumerism and the mass media boom. Their critical stance, demystifying the consumer society, underlies the iconographic treatment of symbols through values that always present a double, ironic reading, as seen in 86 misses en traje de baño (86 Beauty Contestants in Swimwear). The work deals with Spain’s access to the rituals of the society of the spectacle, in the form of international mass culture events such as the Miss Spain or Miss Universe contests and other comparable events like the Eurovision Song Contest. The triptych presents the reification of the female body by showing a frieze of women in identical postures, highlighting the contradictions in Francoism at a time when the rise of television was causing some relaxation in moral censorship while imposing a new range of customs on Spanish society.