Amaya, Marino

He was born in Astorga (Leon) in 1927. In his youth he was a shepherd, carpenter and weaver. At the age of fifteen, he was given his first commission as a sculptor, a statue of St James the Apostle, sculpted in white stone. He went on to attend the School of Arts and Crafts in Salamanca. In view of his excellent progress, the Provincial Government of Salamanca offered him a scholarship, which enabled him to travel to Madrid in 1945, to perfect his studies as a sculptor. Subsequently, in 1949, he set out on a kind of round the world trip to immerse himself in the aesthetics and knowledge of peoples from other lands, travelling through France, Italy, Austria, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Germany and Greece. Yet his intellectual curiosity was not limited to traditional Europe, as he also visited Egypt and Palestine. This change of scene did wonders for Marino Amaya given the fact that, on his return to Spain, in 1950 he obtained the silver medal at the National Exhibition. In 1951 the Bishop of Leon commissioned him to create a grandiose monument to the Immaculate Conception. In 1952 he exhibited his works for the first time at the Association of writers and artists of Madrid and, in 1954, he presented his sculptures in Leon. From the sixties onwards, he worked intensively on sculpture. In 1974, Astorga, his birth town, made him honorary citizen and dedicated a street to him. In 1981, he exhibited in New York in the Zoma Gallery, where the Rockefeller Foundation acquired fifteen of his works. In 1985, HH John Paul II granted him an interview to discover more about his work entitled “El Derecho a la Vida”, which was blessed by the Holy Father. Today, this sculpture is part of the collection of works of art at the Vatican. From 1985 onwards, Marino Maya started to create numerous works dedicated to the life of children, to exhibit them in the world”s major cities, hoping that these works would serve to awaken love and respect for Life. Works of this type, representing boys and girls in different aspects of their lives, particularly at play, have become the distinctive hallmark of Marino Amaya. Likewise, his work is also noted for the presence of the figures of animals, particularly cats and dogs. Since 1981, Amaya has had a studio in Marbella (Spain), and goes back and forth between his other studio in Madrid. Amaya is a sculptor completely focussed on public sculpture, with an impressive number of public works to be found throughout Spain. By way of example, he has works in Gijón, Ciudad Real, Elche, Andújar, Cáceres, Málaga, Salamanca, Marbella, Soria, Madrid, León, Guetaria, Almería, etc. His son, Salvador Amaya, has followed in his father”s footsteps and is also professionally dedicated to sculpture.


Sources of information:

LÓPEZ SANCHO, L. «Desde el pastoreo al arte. Marino Amaya, el escultor que se hizo a sí mismo», ABC, 11 de Enero 1955.TORBADO, J., Marino Amaya, Madrid, Gráficas Marte, 1982.VÁZQUEZ, A., «Los niños de Marino Amaya regresan al jardín de los monos», La opinión de Málaga 12 de Mayo 2009.Artist”s website: tp://