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Quiet and unassuming, Joan Miro (1893 - 1985) was born into an affluent family in Barcelona. He was a thoughtful and sensitive lad whose favourite school subject was art; his mum and dad were of the opinion that his talents were limited so they sent him off to be a clerk. This worked wonders and, in a short time, he was suffering severe depression, followed by typhoid fever. Well, at least they relented and let him go to art college.
A few years later Joan was gagging to go to Paris, so he upped mahl sticks and tootled off, meeting fellow Spanish genius, Pablo Picasso, who put him in touch with some arty parties. At around this time Paris was Creativity City Arizona, bursting with the likes of Modigliani, Henry Miller and Ezra Pound and you couldn't step out of your atelier without tripping over a pickled poet or a cocaine-crazed Cubist.
However, Joan had no need of such stimuli to get his creative juices flowing because he frequently suffered from such extreme malnutrition and fatigue that weird images came pogo-ing into his brain or slithering across the studio ceiling at the drop of a giant three-headed cockroach. Gazing vacantly in the direction of the Surrealists, and not wishing to let an hallucination of opportunity pass him by, Joan committed his cute little companions to canvas in the style that boring people would later name 'Biomorphic Abstraction' (guaranteed to make your whites dazzle, madam).
By the 1950s Joan had become so famous that boring men in suits asked him to stick some of his surreally nice ceramics on their nice new Yawnesco HQ in Paris, in a sort of, 'We've got Miros on our wall, so we are trendiest of them all' gesture.Copyright Michael Cox