Joan Miro: the Real 'Starving Artist'.

Joan Miro (1893-1983) was born April 20, 1893 in Spain and arrived in Paris in 1919, at the age of 26. He very quickly became friends with Picasso and started exploring cubism.

Miro was influenced by all Paris movements, but mostly by surrealism. He joined the movement at its inception in 1924.

Miro’s style evolved quite significantly over his career, and eventually, his fully surrealist paintings started to look like animal doodles, generally.....

Surrealism was about developing art from the subconscious or from dreams. Miro said, “I begin painting and as I paint the picture begins to assert itself, or suggest itself, under my brush”. He also says that his ideas often came from going to bed hungry, staring up at the ceiling, and sketching the shapes and doodles that he would see appear on his ceiling. Now that’s what I call a starving artist!

Miro had been wintering in Paris and then summering on his family farm near Barcelona, Spain. He was forced to halt his summer trips home to Spain from 1936-39 because of the Spanish civil war, so Miro stayed in Paris creating much more sombre paintings. Then, fleeing WWII in 1940, he left Paris for Majorca, Spain. From 1948 onward, he went back and forth from Paris to Spain.

The fame he gained after WWII had him adding pottery, sculpting, and public mural painting, and working with stained glass.

Miro was commissioned to do two ceramic murals in the UNESCO Building in Paris from 1957-59. They are called “The Wall of the Moon” and “The Wall of the Sun”, the latter won him a Guggenheim International Award. You can see these murals for free at the UNESCO Building (“Maison de L'UNESCO”) in the 7th arrondissement.

In Paris, other works by Miro can be seen at the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou.

Joan Miro died December 25th, 1983 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. He was 90 years old.