Goan artist Mario Miranda’s major last works have been exhibited in New Delhi after his death in December last year. The exhibition, organised by the Spanish Embassy, is inspired by the caricaturist’s trip to Spain in 2007. This trip was facilitated by Aristides Alvares, his friend from Goa, who also made the current exhibition possible.
Instituto Cervantes throws light on the Padma awardee’s work from his visit to Spain alongside a collection by Spanish writer Ramon Gomez de la Serna Puig. The exhibition tries to draw a similarity between the two artists.
Mario Miranda’s drawings and cartoons are inspired by his trip to Spain hence giving one a feel of the country’s culture and aesthetics. On the other hand, Ramon’s work has an ironical element in them which includes more of political satire, a typical of Miranda’s work.
The comparison of both the artists’ works is interesting as it is similar in many ways as far as the thought process is concerned. Miranda was an artist first and later became a cartoonist, whereas Gomez was a poet first and later became an artist.
Jesus Clavero Rodriguez, who is the Cultural Manager at Instituto Cervantes, says: “The cartoons are especially interesting because Mario Miranda has mixed Indian culture with the Spanish culture. They are very funny… and we immediately connect with the cartoons because we see our culture. I am sure it must be the same for Indian people”.
Mario’s work was inspired by the simple architecture of different parts of Spain. In this collection, the illustrator has painted fine buildings, houses in the villages and simplified landscapes of Madrid, Tolendo, Barcelona and others.
“In Barcelona, Miranda was impressed by Antonio, one of our major architect and his architecture. He used forms of nature in his architecture like shape of different plants etc.”, explains Rodriguez.
The display also has Miranda’s famous cartoons full of satire and humour. One of the illustrations shows a husband holding up his fat wife and reminding her of red saree as a bull charges at them. This collection of cartoons captures Indian experiences in the foreign land.
Mario de Miranda was very impressed by the country and it truly reflects in his collection. The artist’s tour was also for a purpose of showing Spain as an ideal vacation destination through his paintings. Miranda was chosen because of his fame and appreciation in India. In this trip, the satirist was accompanied by Aristides Alvares and his wife.
As a token of gratitude, Spain presented Miranda the Cross of Isabel, the Catholic. This reward was for promoting the Spanish culture and strengthening relationship with India.
The caricaturist is remembered for his cartoons in various journals and will always be remembered for his fun and tender nature.
After his stint, Miranda wrote: “One of the most exciting things in my life happened during the year 2007, this was a grand tour through Spain, a lovely country steeped in romance and history. We visited some of the great cities of Spain like Madrid, Barcelona and Seville although we could not make it to Toledo, which I had visited in the past. It was an unforgettable experience to travel through the undulating Spanish countryside dotted with olives and orange trees, rich in art and history, with its museums, castles and forts, famous names written as a part of history, and the lovely Spanish people”.
The exhibition truly brings back Mario Miranda’s spirit with some of his breathtaking works and visiting Spain from the artist’s eyes.
About the exhibition
Venue: Instituto Cervantes, New Delhi
Dates: Until August 19 (From 11 am to 7 pm)