The wizard behind the wizard

Joan Miro, Detail of Photo: This is the Color of my Dreams, 1925, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 

Photo: This Is the Color of My Dreams, 1925
Joan Miró (Spanish, 1893–1983)
The Pierre and Maria-Gaetana Matisse Collection, 2002
© 2011 Successió Miró / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

I’ve never stopped to consider the color of my dreams.  If you asked me, I’d probably say just black and white.  Miró painted his blue. This painting isn’t what you’d normally expect from him, but he’s a Surrealist after all, so all bets are off.  It’s a simple composition like the two paintings previous, Tantric Art and Cy Twombly’s (blog post Passed Over).  And I think, quite a daring distillation.

We watch this lone washed spot of blue, deeply cryptic and cool. We read the words, enticingly enigmatic. Two simple mysteries at work here. A simple mystery? Ironic, huh? I tend to want a complicated mystery. Smoke and mirrors. Yet here, Miró distills his dreams to a single, curious blue. How could he do such a thing? What about all those disturbing images of teeth falling out of my mouth, or showing up to class naked, or avoiding being squashed by the big toe of God, or gasp, waking up in the arms of the wrong lover?

Because we dream that we are very complex and interesting people after all. Doesn’t your inner-soul cavern protect ancient runes?  That only the wisest seer among us can decipher (for $150 an hour). Yet with a wave of his brush, Miró banishes our mystery in a cloud of blue smoke.

Curiosity is this blue spot, motioning us to pull back the velvet curtain of our dreams, of our “self.”  Because we already know what we want to know about ourselves and others. It’s finding the courage to be curious. To ask. This painting, once enigmatic opens to a simple reality. Revealing that the wizard behind the great Oz is a blue you or me.