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Néstor Basterretxea

In the ancient and prestigious art of drawing ideograms and hieroglyphs, or in the language of the peoples of the central Mexican plateau — which was the Nathuatl language— the name of the god Queztalcoatl was formed from all the amalgamation of two holy words, of which one referred to the sovereign presence of the Serpent, and the other designated the upper plumage of the very beautiful bird Queztal.

They considered as inevitable the superimposition of various images of different origins, so that they could gather their expressive powers (strengths for living together in harmony) in the best manner and give transcendental importance to the symbolic emblems by which they ruled themselves. Consequently, they considered as definitely ineffective the confinement into a simple image of the complex theocratic, mathematical and prophetic contents which determined the rigid norms of collective living.

That was before the name of America was given by chance and in the Italian manner to this immense continent and it was violated in an extremely despicable way to ruin its multiple original souls.

Antoni Miró, if he had been of ancient Mexican stock, would have painted for us the body of a down-and-out with a white butterfly on his lips and above him a large recipient full of water and with a fisherman in it; this were represented all the images necessary to give graphic and ritual information on the eleventh day of the month. It is also probable that he had recreated the features of the tenth eighth day which was that of the turkey with bared chest, on concentric circles of splendid birds and shining jewels: all this close to the "smoky reflection" of the god Tezcatilpoca and the yellow man losing his eyes in a two-coloured precincts...

But while not being remotely ancient, or Mexican, Antoni Miró did not resign himself to losing the cosmic graces, and it distressed him —and he deplored— that we lived renouncing the burning arrows which were flung from the mystery. Antoni told us that they burn our skin, because today the fire is born to us electronically, in the hollow of our own hands.

To save himself he risked thrusting his feet into the red terracotta jars of Mas Sopalmo, and there imagined a grand scenario which was a window open to the world. (It is said that he used to see in the clouds, himself, his thin bearded shadow, with a light in one of his hands and a knife in his hand).

Antoni Miró Pinteu Pintura –Paint Paint–, divides up the archaic valuation of the ideograms, then the thematic complexities provoke aesthetic complexities, for on them times are destroyed and states created.

At Mas Sopalmo, gilded by the sun and surrounded by green coloured lizards, the protagonists of impossible meetings are called and come together at one time or another, of impossible.

There we come across the heavy trot of the horse rider Count Duke of Olivares (centaur half Velazquez, half advertisement for a make of cars and tyres), with the racket of flags being dragged along and guitars and books and stretchers, hempen cords and silk clothes, which at a signal from the painter, gather even to the point of asphyxiating the small soldier (?), alive in solid wood, which Antoni had made for one of his obsessive versions of the Defeat of Breda.

Two civil guards under the silence of a rectangular shadow, by express order of the King, watch over the order of the palace precincts, in which (meninas) play at being painted and immortal without being able to avoid —the guards— Antoni driving them to Mortadelo-Comic through the tunnel of time.

A high society lady revealed to us as privileged and enigmatic; sinner and faceless, wearing a card board hat and with open bodice to reveal her full breasts. Thanks Toni.

To patriotisms under suspicion, so much worn out, they are caught in the ribbons of some Catalan rope-soled sandals.

Underneath some tables with big tablecloths some men of great master Bosch are laboriously looking for goodness knows what.

To the great hieratic Albrecht Durer, provocative and newly painted and perfumed with the waters of the Rhine, Antoni has blatantly fastened a label on his waistcoat.

A poor and very sad Mercedarian friar, who looks at us with the gravity of Zurbaran, has been raised several centimeters above the level of the base, so as to compensate him for the wounding hair shirt with which he was ill-treating himself, for the inteminable rosaries, and for his secret works and intimate mortifications.

Turning her back — and forever— a woman who one bright day posed for Dali at Port Lligat (thick black, greasy plaits) does not dare to look at the scissors which Antoni has left around her lest they should cut her up.

Karl Marx observes us, painting with statutory heaviness, with a scowl of little friend ship for the novelty of perestroika.

To Pablo Picasso — who would have been a close friend of Antoni, if he had known him— he lodged under his skull all the screams of Guernica, then this and more fitted into his genial big head.

A Miró fret lorry stretches out to hand le the bends better before arriving at Alcoi, tired of so much road.

"Vietnam is not as far off as it might appear" Toni tells us, and also, "the blacks are ever more black and beaten".

The dollar is falling.

He leaves us the consolation of knowing that, raising a foot and cornerstone on a mirror, Salvador Espriu is with us.

Near or the contrary, those called to Mas Sopalmo conspire to enter into the game that Antoni organises each morning early (which is when he produces his best work) and which, more than anything else, is a kaleidoscope where chaos occupies its exact and ordered place, so us to reinvent critically part of the memory of the world. Demythologised.

Let us ad mire how the artist dares to put himself forward in his testimony —in the work which he offers to us— with a light of justice in one hand and a momentary knife in the other.


More texts from Néstor Basterretxea regarding Antoni Miró

Other texts regarding Antoni Miró

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