Julia Miranda: Air Show
Born in the UK and growing up in both Brazil and London, with artists Liz Miranda and Luiz Aquila for parents (and, as it happens, Nina Miranda of Zeep/Smoke City for a sister), Julia’s life has been one immersed in creativity, intrigue and composition. Residing and working these days in North London, she reflects that it was in Brazil she discovered colour, and in hindsight and contrast, how the cold and snow of the late winter so heavily influenced her painting, keeping busy and warm in her Tufnell Park studio which she revealed: “it’s a favela, it’s a tip, it’s freezing”.
Whilst her mother worked in oils, Julia’s choice of medium centres around acryllics, charcoal and ink, ideal for working fast on her sizeable abstract canvases, and there’s a resourceful and playful side to her art in reusing materials such as bed sheets, fabrics and building material, “anything that comes with a story”, be it inspired by a printed mark, a stain or an accident.
For her Air Show this month she will present 10 canvases at The Original Gallery, but an exciting tangent comes in the form of an ongoing collaboration with architect Simon Mundy, comprising of an installation in a 1930s flat in Whitechapel, unfurling layers, pattern and texture which time laid down, “digging up imagined stories and super-imposing [her] own narrative, deconstructing and reconstructing the flat and things that fall down the cracks”. Catch her in Crouch End and keep in tune with the flat on her twitter feed below.
Jungle asked Julia Miranda what she thought of the current Brazilian art scene outside of Brazil and how this has changed over recent years…
It’s been amazing to see how Brazilian art has exploded onto the international scene in the last decade – Beatriz Milhazes, Helio Oiticica and the grafitti artists Os Gemeos at the Tate Modern… Helio Oiticica and Lygia Clarke at Raven Row, and Daniel Senise at Gallery 32 as we speak.
Beatriz and Daniel are artists from “Generation ’80” who rediscovered painting after the dominance of the conceptual art being made in the 70s. They were students at Parque Lage School of art when my father, nick-named the “Father of Generation ’80” was teaching.
He and his colleagues took their easels to the school, a crumbling mansion set in a tropical park, so that the students could work side by side with them, see that art could be about action and expression, accident and beauty, rather than simply a record of a premeditated idea.
As has happened in music, in a sense the international market has sold Brazilian art back to Brazil. And Brazil has made it it’s own again. I don’t think the art scene there has ever been in better shape – in Rio I can go to a private view every day. The established galleries are really receptive to new art but young artists like Bhagavan David and Esther Barki are putting on shows in flats and chocolate factories – just getting on with it. It’s precarious – but the famous Brazilian resourcefulness and imagination kicks in, you count on benignly negligent authorities and thank God for the lack of health and safety inspectors!
This is possibly a London girl’s perspective but I felt in the 90s and early noughties – the post generation ’80 back-lash?! – that a lot of contemporary art in Brazil was trying to emulate an idea of European art – cool, cerebral, detached and colourless. Again, as with the music scene, in recent years something more recognisably “Brazilian” has crept back in from the cold. It’s playful, perverse and colourful of course, but also there’s a celebration of the transcendent quality of art, and serious craftsmanship. And there’s a non-ironic pride in the incredibly rich pop-culture that you get an eye-full of just walking down a city street. It’s great to see young artists looking closer to home for their inspiration.
And, on a purely selfish note, it’s nice to be part of a generation that doesn’t see painting as obsolete – infact that idea now seems obsolete! I’ll be exhibiting side-by-side with one of it’s best proponents, Gabriella Machado, at the Paço Imperial, the Portuguese royal family’s first Rio residence, in September.
31st March – 1st May, FREE
The Original Gallery
Crouch End – N8 9JA