Walter Miranda
Plastic Artist

Works of the artist

Listing 16 items – Series

Brave New Middleage

Brave New Middle Age

 


As I have already written previously, I have been expressing through my works the daily subjects that afflict me conceptually and ideologically. It was like this with the series "1984 - George Orwell's Stigma", "Brave New World" and "Seattle Project", among other, where I used pieces of computers and commonplace objects incorporated to the traditional technique of oil painting. In that way, the reason of existence of this exhibition could not be different.



 


 


Since the 1980s, when analyzing human attitudes in our time and trying to understand their trajectory through comparisons with the past, I came across a strong parallel in history: the Middle Age.


The whole sense of violence, insecurity, loneliness, social despair, risks of epidemics, religious control, professional relationships, spatial displacement, dependence on the government, social injustices, personal anxieties, etc., which currently occur, have, in my view, a certain similarity with that historical period.


Hence this new series of works Brave New Middle Age was born, where the main intention is to provoke in the viewer reflections on the present and the future using the experiences of the past in an analogous approach to the cyclical space time continuum, although I imagine that time it should not be represented exactly by a circle, but by a spiral (much more dynamic, as life is), which has some apparently cyclical characteristics, because it is born at one point and grows continuously passing through the same quadrants that cause certain similarities but without repeat itself.


 



 


Returning to the historical parallel mentioned above, we know that in the Middle Age the movement of people from one region to another was very slow, since the fastest means of locomotion was carried out by means of horses. Today the speed of travel in large cities reaches the same parameters as the Middle Age due to congestion (within cities, it takes us the same time as in the Middle Age to travel 20 kilometers, for example).


 


In the Middle Age, there was an informal structure of trade and provision of services, and today, the informal economy has been strengthening in large cities. Thus, there were people who hired the services of artisans leaving the raw material in their homes and passing periodically to remove the finished product. Today, many companies outsource their activities by supplying raw materials to people hired to perform the service in their own homes and return it in the form of manufactured items. Other companies hire independent professionals to carry out delivery and transportation services, the well-known uberization. In addition, with the advancement of information technology, many professionals and executives have maintained their home offices and use electronic means to send their services to companies.


 


 



 


In the Middle Age, cities were surrounded by high walls and gates, which were closed at night, in order to protect themselves from external attacks. Next to these walls and gates, archers were stationed, watching the approach of possible enemies. As a parallel, we have today, closed condominiums or even commercial and residential areas, where security companies are hired for the same purpose as before. The roads were also extremely dangerous, like the crossing of streets in big cities today.


The risk of serious epidemics is increasing today, worrying the world's health authorities, due to the ease with which viruses and bacteria can be transmitted. This has raised the same concerns as in the Middle Age about plagues.


As in the Middle Age, today's cities are real centers of new ideas, technologies and power, where rulers are generally overbearing and remain isolated from the population that expects them to solve community problems.



 


The labyrinthine formation of streets in slums and poor regions, today, does not differ much from housing conditions in the Middle Age, where basic sanitation was also precarious.


Furthermore, the spread and manipulation of religions today, has not been much different from the religious Manichaeism of the Middle Age. Likewise, the proximity of the end of the second millennium provoked several catastrophist predictions similar to those of the end of the first millennium and associated with that of the end of the world. And so we can compare agriculture, education systems, etc. in many countries.


However, the Middle Age were not exactly an era of obscurantism as many think, and perhaps ours is also not as dark as some pessimists claim. In this sense, many believe that we are on the threshold of a new era that, perhaps, will not take as long as the Renaissance took to arrive, since everything has evolved and changed and extremely quickly in our times (probably more events have happened significantly in this century than in the entire history of mankind).


With all this, the New Middle Age that we live today, despite its dichotomies, seems as admirable as that experienced by our ancestors, and this encouraged me to continue expressing my disappointments and hopes through the logical and playful reuse of waste of our technological daily life against elements representative of the Middle Age.



 


By respecting the persistent recurrence in the use of some symbolic elements, such as the image of the planet Earth, seeds and leaves, as well as images of dancers (used in other series of works), in the series Brave New Middle Age, I try to express the situation of existential imbalance of man in relation to the planet, today. In addition, I try to create an analogy, through the counterpoint, with the elements referring to the Middle Age.


The constructivist composition of the paintings that begins with the Golden Mean, used in their dimensions, generates pictorial plans achieved through textures and overlays of paints in splashed, wrinkled and abstract and gestural layers. However, these rigid geometric planes are attenuated with the use of the elegant and organic lines of the logarithmic spiral (for me associated with the rhythm of life and time) and with the use of chromatic harmonies resulting from extensive research on color and that help the viewer to traverse the pictorial surface of each work.


The result, I believe, is formed by unconventional contemporary pictorial works, where the symbolic universe exerts great visual force on the viewer.


                                                                                                                                                     Walter Miranda - 1998


 


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Walter Miranda
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