Manuel Miguel paves the way for his work in Spain

The Oaxacan plastic artist Manuel Miguel is days away from taking his work to the Pons Foundation in the Barrio de Salamanca, in Madrid, Spain, within the framework of the Independent Art Fair in Madrid (FAIM) from June 10 to 12. He is currently one of the most important painters within contemporary culture in Oaxaca and has presented his work collectively in almost 50 exhibitions throughout the republic and abroad; however, this is the first time that he will travel and present his work alone.

It will be an important week as you will also have the opportunity to meet with important artists such as Belin, Antonyo and the Boa Misutra collective. During his visit, he will also donate a work to the Fundación Menudos Corazones.

“It is one thing to show my work to a general public, but also to show it to specialists, with a critical vision, with broader knowledge of technical issues and concepts, it is a challenge (…) This is where I did not think I would go because art is complicated to integrate into a market, a society where certain already very specific messages are demanded”, the artist tells El Economista.

“Today I feel satisfied”, he assures, “because proposing something that makes sense, a message, is difficult, many times subsistence is imposed, but I have tried that what I generate through art and the ideas that I want to propose manage to touch the viewer’s sensitive tissues, take them on an internal journey, of micro-universes”.

A path of adversity and the connection with its origins

By talking about his origins, the artist allows us to call him only Manuel, to gain confidence. He was born on December 20, 1985, in the community of Teococuilco de Marcos Pérez, belonging to the District of Ixtlán de Juárez, cradle of illustrious and outstanding personalities, that place would inadvertently give him his main inspiration, which at first he did not accepted.

“One of my main elements is the hummingbird, I identify with the species for a more spiritual theme.” She talks about how, in her community in the Sierra, at the time of gestation, of being in the mother’s womb, the animals that come to the house are the guardians who come to offer you their skills, “in my case it was the hummingbird . My mother says that a hummingbird came in the morning and I was born in the afternoon, the next day he came back; then my grandmother who was a healer related me and assured me that I was going to be a hummingbird in life”.

Curiously, Manuel did not accept that fate as a child, “as we know, in the towns, the famous nicknames are a kind of bullying, in my case they called me the ‘chuparrosa’ and I never accepted it, I would have wanted a bull or a jaguar to come , this learned from parents, who seek that training, to try to achieve strong and capable children, then that training only serves to minimize or classify the others”.

It was until he was 15 years old when Manuel freed himself from that situation by migrating to the valleys, facing new challenges, since he did not speak Spanish well, since his mother tongue is Zapotec. But at the age of 26, his life took a turn, when he decided to dedicate himself to art as a profession and way of life, at that moment the hummingbird manifested itself again. “It comes in the form of spots, of colors, unconsciously it is an internal voice that told me ‘here I am, I want to go out and be free, I want to lead you’, that is how I reconnect with my origins”.

Today, he assures, he plays with this freedom, without having a conflict about whether it will work or not, “this has come to be a sum of day to day, experimenting, with trial and error, trying every day sometimes with inspiration, to Sometimes without it, but everything is part of this way of life and the accumulation of experiences throughout it”.

Manuel, before being a painter, was a masonry, carpentry, plumbing, tailoring, carwashing, at that time he denied, but “if I had known that sooner or later all those trades would help me to generate a career as a sculptor, painter, graphic artist, a plastic artist, I would have taken more advantage of everything, because at the time I had to do all those jobs to survive, today they are a very important foundation in this career”.

He is the third of four brothers, with peasant parents, he assures that when a boy is born in the family it is a party because he is the one who comes to lighten the tasks of the field, and the father has the obligation to teach his son to sow, till the land, “yoke” the animals, “that was my destiny, to be a peasant, if I had told my father at that time that I wanted to be an artist, I would have received two or three blows, that is not easy in the communities and I understand it because it is not easy to face so many challenges”.

“When I told my father that I wanted to study, it was a bucket of cold water for him. He told me: ‘You’re fine, asshole in your head, you’re going to learn to farm,’ that’s why I had to migrate when I was 15 years old, even from As a child, when I took care of the animals, I carried a pencil and a drawing sheet, but I never thought that it would be my way of life.”

“Today is my first time as an individual exhibitor abroad, I am digesting it, I know that I am going to face a highly cultivated culture in the field of art, they are references in the history of art, Europe was the cradle of several currents, For me, carrying my work and being physically supporting my work scares me, but I am also sure to say that there is a lot of work, technically and conceptually it is strong. Today life is putting us here and I think I’m ready”, he concludes.

Manuel Miguel

Manuel Miguel is a plastic artist who has added to his career the privilege of having worked with such great masters as Alejandro Santiago, Maximino Javier, Alejandro Santiago, Rosendo Pinacho, Emiliano López, Armando Guerrero, Amador Montes, Edi Martínez, Víctor Chaca, Claudio Jeronimo Lopez, Maria Jose Lavin, Oscar De Las Flores

To learn more about the artist you can visit his page

[email protected]

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