After I’d seen Dialogue of Insects at the Tate Modern, I kept my peepers peeled for more Miró. And since I lived in London then and Edinburgh later, there were some real ones about and prints and posters too. I did not purchase any Miró merch. And the only reason I didn’t title this post Miró Miró on the Wall, is that its already been done to death. I just felt I had to get that out there before I got accused of missing a bad pun.
Although my tastes usually run to sad things, there is a small segment of happy that I’m into as well, and Miró is a good example of the sort of style I gravitate to. It’s inner child stuff; not the poor kid who endured the childhood, but the safe kid that I look after now. I laughed when my first psychotherapist said I should hug my inner child, but he was right. Joan Miró is a way to do just that. Cheerful, bright primary colours, friendly shapes and I think my inner child would hug all of it back.
During those years, i also tripped over Alexander Calder and immediately thought zomg it’s Miró in 3D. Again, in my twentysomething invincibility, I thought I was really clever to have thought so (lol).
For almost a half-century, the American sculptor Alexander Calder and the Spanish painter Joan Miro looked on each other as good friends. When apart, as they often were, they sometimes exchanged a letter or postcard of greeting. “A good smack on the butt for you,” wrote Calder in French in 1934. “A hug, kisses, and see you soon, you big stud,” wrote Mirò in Spanish in 1945. They liked to embellish the postcards. Mirò, for example, added underarm hair to the portrait of a Spanish dancer. A Miró-Calder Reunion
If I’d known that Mister Mirò was from Barcelona, I’d no doubt have been blathering on about Gaudi too.
There was a Miró on a plinth in a water feature thingy, at a Sotheby’s exhibition/auction at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire in 2000andsomething and I was with my mother around art for once. It was jolly (I’m sorry, art snobs, there just ain’t a better word for it) and if I remember right, had a yellow dustbin lid or similar for a face. There were a pair of old women in kagools (mhm this is Britain we’re talking about, of course it was pissing with rain. They were leafing through their list and nattering away in that accent that I surprised myself by falling in love with. Oh I like that Joan Myrow said one, giving the Joan a frumpy housewife vibe. (Nee sies, I don’t mean that kind of vibe.) They nodded and muttered and cooed. Itnwas one of those utterly, perfectly joyous moments and there was no way in hell I was about to look at my mother, because I could feel the grin and suppressed howls of laughter without doing so – and I knew we’d both crack up otherwise.
And thus did the famous Catalan artist, Joan Mirò come to be known to my mother and I evermore, as Joan Myrow.
Here’s my last little Mirò thing (apart from the gorgeously wonky embroidered version done by a local funky fibre project, why didn’t I buy it?). Tis but a silly thing, but so,e years ago, my mither arrived with a cardboard box and one of her widest grins. “I had to,” she chortled (she really did chortle), “wait till you see it, it’s just like the Joan Myrow!” And there was this daft kid’s lamp and it was just ome of the funniest and sweetest things she did, the delight radiated from her. And the Joan Myrow memorial reading lamp is on the little table next to me in the lounge. 99% of visitors see it and then their eyes go like this: @@
No misery in any of my little Mirò memories, not much meaning either, if I’m honest, but I do not give a monkey’s. Sometimes even I just smile.
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A brief overview of his life and work: Miró’s aim was to rediscover the sources of human feeling, to create poetry by way of painting, using a vocabulary of signs and symbols, plastic metaphors (an implied similarity between two different things), and dream images to express definite themes. He had a genuine sense of humor and a lively wit, which also characterized his art.