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Antoni Miró

Antoni Miró was born in Alcoi on 1 September 1944. Ever since he was very young, he has worked in his main passion: painting. Likewise, he has engaged in parallel artistic activities such as sculpture, posters, ceramics or drawing. His work is consistently rigorous and marked by civic references, by the social commitment of an artist believing in intellectuals’ usefulness and powers of persuasion.  Antoni Miró’s artistic career runs parallel to his biography. Painting has been his major activity since 1966. Those were the last years of Franco’s regime and, faced with the lack of freedom, Miró conceived several series influenced by expressionism, such as “Les Nues” (“Naked Women”), “La Fam” (“Hunger”), “Els Bojos” (“Crazy People”), “Biafra”, “Vietnam”, “Mort” (“Death”) or “Realitats” (“Realities”). Miró opted for a sharp, rough line emphasising the shapes of his images. With series such as “L’Home” (“Man”), starting in 1968, and “Amèrica Negra” (“Black America”), he set the foundations for his later work based on visual experiments in pop-art and social realism. The artist has always matched the purposes of his social content to the search for a new imaginary stemming from visual relief. His work is thus within the expressive framework of what is known as social realism. This trend, while taking everyday life or historical narrative as a starting point, delves into popular roots and collective identity in order to find a plastic language which allows artists to denounce all power abuse. In a certain way, Miró’s later series have inherited his own critical purposes.

Isolated as a result of his studies, either in Altea or at his property in Sopalmo, in the l’Alcoià county, he has nevertheless remained in contact with the most prestigious intellectuals of his time, both national and international. Thanks to this challenge, he has engaged in regular correspondence with very interesting personalities, ranging from writers such as Salvador Espriu, Joan Fuster, Joan Valls or Vicent Andrés Estellés, to plastic artists like Picasso, Arcadi Blasco, Eusebi Sempere, Pablo Serrano, Joana Francés, Bruno Rinaldi or Manolo Boix, as well as art critics like Daniel Giralt, Wences Rambla, Romà de la Calle, Ernest Contreras and Fèlix Cucurull. Miró is introduced to us as an artist with absolutely no concerns over the criticism coming from the most conservative groups, who cannot understand his message and have occasionally tried to prevent open access to his art. A constant endeavour for a painter who defines himself as an “art worker”, just like others work for an industry or a company. 

Antoni Miró becomes worried about the passage of time. The projects he is always developing, a product of his constant mental activity, make him anguish over the unstoppable course of time, in a similar way to Proust or psychologism writers: ‘time is so fast that we seem to live at a higher speed with each passing day. To me, a year now feels like a month when I was a child’, he writes in his notebook. The best way to cope with this feeling is to leave a mark of his actions in life. ‘I am almost sixty, and yet I still have so much to do’, said the artist before his 60 th birthday. Writer Isabel Clara-Simó, one of his closest friends, has sometimes said about him: ‘Antoni Miró is a painter who makes us feel uncomfortable, someone who makes no concessions and is extremely critical’. Maybe he makes us feel uncomfortable because of his continuous militancy. In any case, the fact is that there is a growing interest in his work everywhere.  A recognition that comes, little by little, from all cultural perspectives. Next to us, he becomes established as a permanent reference in our culture and our identity. A critical look, his look, which makes viewers react before the injustice and lack of freedom of people today.

CARLES CORTÉS, Writer, lecturer of Contemporary Catalan Literature at the University of Alicante and author of biographical study Vull ser pintor! Antoni Miró ( I want to become a painter! Antoni Miró ), València, Ed. 3i4, 2005.

Personal webpage: 

Laudatio a Antoni Miró amb motiu de l'entrega de la Medalla d'Or de la Xarxa Vives

El misteri republica. 1988 El misteri republica. 1988

Velocipede turbo. 1991
Velocipede turbo. 1991

Costa Blanca. 1993
Costa Blanca. 1993

Chair Antoni Miró of contemporary art

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