Antoni Miró. The art of creating his own world: imaginative and reflective
Manuel Rodríguez Díaz
The human spirit, tired of its wandering search for the unascertainable, and well aware of the fact that it will never capture the infinite in full splendour, binds its nostalgia to images in which appears a ray that goes far beyond. This mystical appearance of our deepest emotion in images, this ascent of the spirits of the world... this eagerness for the divine inside intuition, this is the true romanticism.UHLAND
The work of Antoni Miró appears full of plastic and human charms; it abounds in magic, romanticism, irony... rich in contents and with a stimulating stenography for the aesthetic perception. It is a prominent work that handles creeds and iconography with a skilled and brilliant technique; it surpasses established boundaries and suggests images and scenes recovered from iconographic legacies with a concentrated meaning that Miró uncovers and confronts with the present time, here and now, bringing to light avant-garde interpretations under signs and calligraphies which belong to his singular artistic universe.
The artistic creativeness is one of the few means which allow to entangle magical and logical concepts. Reason and imagination form an ambiguous marriage capable of outlining the doctrines of theoretical unrealities which agree with scenes and times pampered by obvious essences. Curiosity, contemplation and investigation defy the horizons of recognition, by planning postulates and untraditional situations that the spiritual movement adopts. Because the artist may be a kind of wizard to a great extent; a doer and moulder of other realities. The artist recovers, creates, and transforms, plays: he is a juggler of the fan of reality and its hybrid circumstances. This artistic magic made of symbols, chromatisms, reflection, lines, are small signs, minute gestures of the existent relationship between divine and man, consequently, between the divine and the artist.
Antoni Miró is a genuine active agent of art as a whole, where forms, executions and techniques are concerned, being a plastic chronicler of our present time, keen and restless. An active agent who, through his creative diversity, manifests a world in which irony, poetry and philosophical analysis are brought together in surprising and remarkable quantities and procedures.
Many patterns and situations have been stirred lately. We are the privileged audience of a wheel of mutations and changes of scene in which conceptions are revolved and scattered about giddily, conceptions that appeal cunningly to the creative dullness, let’s say to the «inborn by creative nature» or at least that they disturb just enough to force positions to stagger. The social, artistic, political crisis, and otherwise, are always the granted standard bearers of more important and vital transformations, those that sink into human privacy. We are going trough times in which the artist finds himself compelled or invited towards standardization, recreation of barrenness or simple revival. In too many occasions we try to fill gaps which usually enlarge gulfs and increase excessive mutual subjects, everything is too much generalised, the self-expression of the outline and the new up-to-date proposals are struggling for a device, a project of interest which lacks solid support.
The impersonation of a genuine and constant finishing touch is reduced to a list of protagonists which, quite frankly, is scarce and worrying. Therefore, every pure-bred artist is a rare specimen with a touch of the gods and in danger of extinction.
The art of the present time is not what we would call a sacred one. As a matter of fact it has very little to do with any esteemed ritual, and this is not a positive matter precisely. W hen the liturgy of a process vanishes or commercialises excessively the devils of the world come forth, creativity is set aside and magic is nothing but a reflection of mud. To feel oppressed by philosophies or frivolous mythologies leads to compromise, does not invite to transgress the environment, everything becomes a fictitious legend. It looks as though a mysterious morbidity for obedience towards the pre-established patterns were arising again, something like what the artistic Hindu anatomy can do, creative shapes which feed from perfectly established precepts, like any traditional art, and that the artist must follow when making his work. Those precepts are registered in the books called Silpa Sastra and must be strictly observed where the holy figures destined to the cult are concerned. It comes to an artistic symptomatology of the present where the artist keeps to the rule of reiteration when someone else has been glorified. Reiterations and deviations, all of them more or less fortunate, are presented, but neither boundaries nor concepts are infringed.
The true artist begins his own art from an inner struggle and liberalization, from an encounter with issues that must be raised on the basis of doubts and clashes that will allow eventually a larger, deep, and personal view of our environment. Art must be born from genuine principles, even if they turn out blurred to others, as long as they are authentic for the person who proposes them, asserting the paradox, and like this, attain an artistic and defensible conviction that can be presented to the outside world. Art creations are being looked for, wished for, no matter their eclecticism; it is of no importance that they might be oneiric worlds, made of hermetic poetry or of literary designs. We need art.
This indispensable independence, this self-conviction in what has been created and this eagerness to shape worlds of art we find liberally in Antoni Miró’s work. It is a work faithful to his principles and constantly evolving and causing an umbilical cord between author and work. We refer to an umbilical cord and we must point out that it is dyed in silver, as esoterics would emphasize, since the concepts and the contents of the whole of his work are not lacking alchemy and cabala.
Antoni Miró’s work is a continuous layout towards symbolism and image, at every moment of the process, in any nook of his work, either by means of iconographical synonyms or of annotations from his innermost universe, images loaded with paradoxes and metaphors saturated with literary figures. The artist has the capacity and the wit to «play» with legends and sayings, displacing and manipulating allegories like a constant provocation to the activity of the mind. W e might well mark that his art is fully alive.
In his pieces Antoni Miró gives us constant winks, meanings, and a strict and splendid sense of humour well dressed with the salt of predetermination; and the work benefits of all this with large texts and images, always images sailing through his chromatic spaces. To understand better the value of his work and the important meaning that these images play, we transcribe a singular paragraph of the Chinese philosopher Wang Bi (226-249) who belonged to the Taoist school, according to R. Wilheim, German orientalist: "Images present meaning, words present image. To enlighten a meaning there is nothing better than images, to set an image under full light, there is nothing better than words. Words must concentrate on images... images must concentrate on meaning. Images arise from sense, but when someone lets their isolated beauty take hold of him, then the words are not the right ones. In this way, meaning can only be reached by forgetting images and only by forgetting words can one get into the image. Understanding of meaning requires sacrificing words."
The whole of the work of Antoni Miró is a summary of his way of living and understanding life. This apparent mocker of myths and facts causes to overflow all kinds of sharp criticism in a shy and planned way by means of his peculiar cunning and by creating chromatic sceneries and mazes. His vital philosophy shows a spectrum of visions, contemplations of reality under a prism which, from behind its wealth of elements, modulates positions and tensions worth a well-deserved study and reflection.
We find the human genius in his work, in sceneries with an atmosphere of its own. It is a painting that is disquieting because it is visceral and provocative, because of its complex suggestions and aesthetic variety. They are his intimate matters and every moment circumstances, his felt, inherited, own history, with emotions and struggles, with classical concepts and signs of the present time, all combined. His work is feeling, recreation, appraisal, always in display under a new approach and perspective, a corrosive reviewing about facts, witnesses and imagination that rides between conventionality and radicalism; always cutting and poetical, setting the contrast between satirical ambiguities and daily chronicles.
Symbolism turns up in his work to make apparent human thought, either as an artistic character or as a more recent aspect which comprises the psychological theory, always resting on a rupture of boundaries to assume them in hundreds of threads by analogy.
Antoni Miró does not give in before equivocal terminologies or redundancies, it does not exist in his work, and neither does the dread of repeating earlier styles that might become unworthy of the concept, since he is perfectly capable of creating from an idea or an image. He borrows an essence to develop a whole different world even if he agrees with similar iconographies. We have a clear accomplishment of his artistic talent with his vast series "Paint Painting", quite an example of skill in every sense, where the artist reveals himself as an architect of worlds and of backgrounds, as a designer of ideas and suggestions. His pieces are an exquisite uncompromising choreography that takes advantage of any hue laid out previously or created similarly, relating characters, purpose and exact moments in such a natural and precise way that all the difficulties involved in his work seem to be an easy task under his elaboration and staging.
It looks like Antoni Miró is having a good time, he enjoys himself creating mazes of shapes and colours, transgressing concrete natures and facts, poking in space and in time to bring out the best of his romantic and passionate collection of samples, always half-hidden among lines and nooks; maybe it is due to the shyness of the artist, who seldom shows his sensitivity without restraint. He manifests it, he offers it, but always moderate, with a sense of proportion. After all, it is a way to invite the spectator of his work to participate in it, to finish a sentence, a thought, a criticism or to hint a smile full of complicity.
Antoni Miró has seemed to me on more than one occasion like a great expert on scenery, a director used to moving experienced threads and to uniting on the same stage, a canvas on this occasion, theatrical, literary, architectonic, magical features, combining them until he obtains this perfectly measured structure that we all understand and recognize as art. A stage director who knows how to pull out of each theme and character the utmost possibilities and locates them where they are needed and History disposes, all in perfect meaning and measure, the outline, the gesture; dominating his artistic universe.
We might even attribute to Antoni Miró a certain monastic predisposition owing to his countenance and composure. He lives half isolated, willingly of course, inside a relaxed solitude, very adequate for plastic creativeness, in "Mas Sopalmo" something like his Sancta Sanctorum. His studio is something similar to a chapel where art is adored and where each separate room or turning lives a fate. His studio-chapel is not a lumber room for trash or a maze of objects or elements, on the contrary, it is a hymn to order and tidiness more proper for a novice’s cell than for and artist who works many hours every day, always sheltered by the night and its elf’s. Each brush, each book, each stretcher knows well its place, just as it happens in his work. We return to the analogy between the work and author. He creates his worlds and brings them to life in "Mas Sopalmo". He has only the indispensable relationship with the outside world, not for lack of sociability, since he has a surplus of it. He is a quiet man with aptitude for easy conversation and reflection, decidedly inclined to them.
He lives peacefully retired like used to do those knights long ago, who after having known the world and its turmoil’s decides to settle down in a definite spot where he can develop his life and his work, in this case an Alcoy an monastery, surrounded by canvases, volumes, nature, family and a singular exhibition hall which is the envy of museum buildings, owing to its extent and contents and where some of his dearest works repose. There is no doubt that art is his god, his ideas are his religion and his paintings are his companions of fortune, paintings sprinkled with pitiless irony or with lighter trifles when he tries to bewilder some of the many historical and serious events. In short, a man and an artist who walk together, give themselves to gather and project themselves together.