Joan Miro is an artist who cannot be slotted into any one category. Meaning he is one of kind. An innovator. A visionary. Someone who believed in walking his own path. Because humans like labels and categories, this painter, sculptor and print-maker has been dubbed as one of the leaders of the Surrealist movement.
As Jean-Michel Meurice’s 52 minute documentary brings you on a journey you learn more and more about the man and the artist. You get to understand what happened from ages 0 to 20 to shape him then it takes you through his early career as a painter and finally through the different creative phases he went on.
Born in 1883 in Barcelona. His father was a jeweller and quite strict. He did not understand his son’s sensitive and solitary nature. At a young age Joan was taken by painting and art in general. It seemed like there was going to be no doubt as to what he wanted to do with his life. Though funnily enough he always considered himself a terrible drawer. At the age of 19 he began studying painting in Barcelona, but he wasn’t really into traditional learning, so left quite quickly.
As he had always dreamt of going to Paris that seemed like the next logical step in his career. But needed some money so had to settle for moving in with his grandparents in the countryside. This was interrupted by his obligatory military service then went back to painting.
In 1920 he finally went to Paris. He spent some time with Picasso as he knew his mother from Barcelona. When he returned to Barcelona it was not for long as he longed for the isolation of the countryside. There he could work without interruption. Continued to travel between the countryside of Spain to Paris. Two different lifestyles fed his painting.
A workaholic, Miro would shut himself off from the world in the countryside and just work. Inspiration was everywhere in nature and that worked its way into his paintings. He sketched all the time. Putting his ideas for work in sketchpads, notebooks, pieces of paper, and even on walls.
Moving from a more realistic style his work began to change. Trees began to have ears. Sardines had moustaches. These series of paintings were called The Paintings of Dreams because of their surreal quality. Nature was still there as there was often insects in his paintings. Everything became symbolic in his work.
Over the course of his lengthy career his style changed. He also began to sculpt. In his notebooks he mades notes about his methods of working, so after his death in 1983 we discovered even more about him and his style. Meditation was a big part of his work style. He spend hours doing it. Source of his work.
Documentary shows us that Miro was a man who was a dreamer. Unlike most of us, he was someone who did most of his dreaming while he was awake. Those dreams or visions fueled his work, which also took on a dreamlike quality. An enigmatic character, his paintings were thought of as humourous while he himself thought he had a dark disposition.