Art/Abstract – a look at Joan Miró

Joan Miró (1893-1983)

Ballerina II, 1925
Ballerina II, 1925

High up on my trippy wish list is Barcelona.  Not only for fun but to pay a visit to the Fundació Joan Miró and be reminded that life is filled with colour and shape and that the small things in the world are worth noticing and celebrating.

Playful, joyful, energetic and colourful, Joan Miró’s paint language appears very simple – bird, star, sun, moon, figure, colour, surface, and so on. But like the best poets, the artist’s juggling of these elements is sophisticated and playful at the same time. The results are unique, immediately recognizable and vibrant – a delight to behold.miro1

Miró was passionate about art from an early age and after a failed attempt by his family to get him into business, he was allowed to pursue his artistic studies.  His early work was influenced by the Fauve painters and Cubism.  He admired Picasso’s work and eventually left Barcelona to live in Paris where he spent six months of each year, working alongside other artists in relative poverty.  The other half of the year he spent in Spain on the family farm.


Like his fellow Catalan artist, Salvador Dali, Miró is most closely associated with the surrealist movement started by Andre Breton.  While Dali embraced surrealism wholeheartedly, with  Miró it is more accurate to say that surrealism embraced him.

Constantly experimenting in his work, he was careful never to align himself completely with any one art movement. His take on the world is quirky, humorous, child-like in its depiction of subject-matter yet extremely sophisticated in its ability to comment on life’s experiences.

Dali, flamboyant, attention-seeking, extreme, takes us to the edge with paintings that show us a world that is distorted and disturbing.  Miró’s approach is calmer, more playful.  Always his own person, never interested in playing to the gallery, his work feels focused, centred, stable.  His view of the world is uplifting, fun, life-enhancing.

This one is available at Elan Fine Art Gallery - Vancouver
Available at Elan Fine Art Limited,Vancouver

Above all, Miró  reminds  us how important a sense of humour is in life and his brilliant paintings, sculptures, wall hangings and ceramics give us permission to stop taking ourselves so seriously.



Art/Culture/Fashion? – when ART and FASHION collide


Two young designers pay homage to the surrealist with a new collaboration at “Opening Ceremony”.  Opening Ceremony is one of the fashion world’s holy grails – a cult destination shop on a par with 10 Corso Como in Milan, Colette in Paris and Dover Street Market in London, with branches in LA and Tokyo.

bazaar3Humberto Leon and Carol Lim had their heads in the clouds for their new collaboration with the Magritte Foundation. The duo’s favorite paintings by the surrealist adorn clothing of their own design, as well as shoes by Vans, Birkenstock, and Manolo Blanik.

“Opening Ceremony is featuring all things Belgium this year, so it was the perfect moment to celebrate the world of René Magritte,” say the designers. “We’re lifelong fans.”

prices below
prices below

Opening Ceremony was founded in 2002 by two friends from UC Berkeley, Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, as a place to share their passions for travel, art, and fashion. Inspired by a trip to Hong Kong, the two decided to leave their jobs in corporate fashion to realize their unique dream. What began as a single store on a quiet street in downtown New York is now a global community with outposts in New York, London, and Los Angeles, a department store in Tokyo, a wholesale showroom, an in-house clothing line, a blog, an e-commerce site, a TV channel, and an annual magazine.

Opening Ceremony & Magritte dress, $545; Opening Ceremony & Magritte shirt $375; Opening Ceremony & Magritte & Vans sneakers, $135, Source: Harpar’s Bazaar.

Please visit link to previous post – MoMa’s “Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary”:

Seen & Surreal – The Mystery of the Ordinary

Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist.” – René Magritte

MoMa’s “Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary.” On view from September 28th through January 12, 2014 takes a fresh look at early works by Belgian master René Magritte.  The exhibit features more than 80 paintings, collages, and objects made between 1926 and 1938.  If you live in or plan to visit New York during that time you can prepare to be perplexed by images such as ‘lovers kissing through gauzy masks’ & other intriguing pieces.

The son of a man
The son of a man

But surrealisly, how do you feel about Surrealism as an art form?  I remember seeing an exhibit on Surrealism at the Guggenheim many years ago that made me think “what was the artist thinking?” There has to be a story behind it (at least somewhat) but the dreamlike paintings were nonetheless beautiful works of art.  The mystery can be left up to the observer and it can represent many things to many people which is the true beauty of ART.

American artist Jeff  Koons (who owns several Magrittes) explains that Surrealism was the very first art movement that he really responded to and he feels that Surrealism makes people go inward – to dive into the muck and understand themselves – and then return outward with a new sense of self-acceptance.  He says “Art brings you in contact with feeling.  When you see a Magritte, you feel something; you have an experience that can be very, very strong.  He’s very poetic.  One of the beautiful things about his work is that it’s really made for the viewer to participate in.  It’s about creating a shared experience for you to experience this sensation.”(This as told to Lindsay Talbot).

It is what it is....what is it?
It is what it is….what is it then?

Similar to a good author or poet, you want to be drawn in and taken away to somewhere that’s anywhere but here…even if just for a little while.