miroI work like a laborer
on a farm or in a vineyard.
I work like a gardener.
I start from something dead,
arriving at a world. And when I add a title,
it comes even more alive.
The picture should be fecund.
It must bring a world to birth.

For me an object is a living thing.
This cigarette and matchbox
bear a secret life much more intense
than that of certain human beings.

When I see a tree, its impact
is like someone breathing, someone speaking.
A tree is something human.
What interests me above all else
is tree calligraphy,
and I mean leaf by leaf and branch by branch,
blade by blade of grass.

I wash my hands with care before I touch
the instruments of work.
To me they’re sacred objects.
Throughout the time I’m working on a canvas
I can feel love coming on.
Poetry and painting are created
in the same way you make love:
exchanging blood, embracing totally,
no caution and no thought of
staying safe.

I throw down the gauntlet,
taunting chance.
A picture should make sparks
and dazzle
like the beauty of a woman or a poem.
It must radiate; it must be like those stones
that Pyrenean shepherds use to light their pipes.

A painting rises from the brush
as poems rise from words.
Meaning comes, but later.

You can look upon a picture for a second
and think about it all your life.


 From the words of Joan Miró
Linda Frye Burnham 2011


“Leaves after Miro,” woodland banner by Steven Durland

Joan Miró, "The Beasts as a Mirror for Man" (1972)

Joan Miró, “The Beasts as a Mirror for Man” (1972)