Equipo Crónica (1964-1981) was formed at the beginning by Rafael Solbes (Valencia, 1940-1981), Manuel Valdés (Valencia, 1942) and Juan Antonio Toledo (Valencia, 1940-1995). Equipo Crónica's production goes from the last period of the Franco regime and the beginning of the transition to democracy. The group emerges as one of the most coherent proposals of the figurative movement that, at the beginning of the sixties, tries to leave behind the Spanish informalist painting. In 1965, shortly after his first exhibition, Toledo separates from the collective, although he shares many of the postulates. The work of Solbes and Valdés is inscribed in the global debate on the figuration that takes place at the end of the fifties, from Pop Art to Critical Realism. They were active between 1964 and 1981, the date on which Rafael Solbes died.
Equipo Crónica explores a new direction in its initial works, defined simultaneously as "the affirmation of an objectifying, and even satirical, way to propose ethical contents". For this, they use images from the media and a radically renewed plastic language. The series is the fundamental resource, the artist's point of view goes to the background and irony arises. Equipo Crónica ended up moving away from informal art to cultivate a figurative painting within the Pop Art trend.
His works are authentic reports about the art and the political situation in Spain. He was inspired by classic works such as Picasso's Guernica or as Velázquez's Las meninas. Their mix is unique: a little realistic, a little critical, Pop Art , with pictorial quotations, anachronisms and bittersweet pastiches with the shadow of Francoism present in all his work. An example of this would be his paintings and serigraphs of the series entitled Police and Culture, in which parodied iconic images of Spanish painting of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries such as Velázquez, Goya, El Greco, among others, with images of the media.
The goal of Equipo Crónica was to transmit a critical and social message of anti-Franco character and against the prevailing individualism. For this, with the intention of facilitating the reading, they used a direct and clear figurative style. His theme focuses on the political and social events of the reality of his time, constantly questioned through a form of political activism evident until the end of the Franco regime.The selection of topics was justified by the choice of images of photographs from press, comics or weekly newspapers on the current events of the moment. From 1970, the group evolved towards experimentation with techniques and resources typical of Pop Art, such as flat inks, the use of images taken from the mass media or depersonalized drawing.