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Ibrahim Miranda | Cuba

Born in 1969 in Pinar del Río, Cuba,
Lives and works in Havana, Cuba.
Painting, printmaking, silkscreen printing

Mapaglifos or forms that dwell in the maps. “Mapaglifos is a group of pieces of work in which I stamp sense and poetry on the maps that mark mi existence. A glifo is a written, painted or engraved sign in the stones (petroglyph), in the land (geoglyph) or in the maps (map glyph). The signs that excel in my maps are animals, most of them are docile, that I discover when drawing lines in the streets of Paris, Tel Aviv, Washington and so on.

Like the drawings in Nazca´s desert made by hundreds of figures that can be only seen from the air, the map glyphs also represent a scene that I recognize only from the air and I perceive a new urban approach.

I have not only used in this work graphic techniques such as silk screen printing that makes the urban cartography much more evident, but also I have started, a few years ago, working with this kind of pictorial style. In them, the suggestion that the icon causes comes with great spaces of color and textures that isolate the cartographic mark and that take this kind of figuration to more subjective interests.

Mapaglifos is also about planning, it is about an urban planning already established; the map has something rational, scientific, and very strict, apparently it does not change, and my involvement is what really gives it another sense. The map glyphs that I find in the cartographic world are a sort of urban bestiary: many animals highlight a space within a great city and that tiny part of the city transformed into moose, horses, elephants, pigs or sea horses turns out to be utopia.

Urban utopia hopes to live in the crest of the rooster, in the horns of the bull or in the brains of the elephant, urban utopia conceives that the streets of any given citizen can be appreciated in a work of art; urban utopia is knowing that from the lines I apparently draw at random unnoticed animals emerge and walk the continents.

That is how Leonardo Da Vinci discovered battles in the spots of the walls, and that is how the boys could see elephants riding bicycles in the clouds, the maps revealed to me covered by zoomorphic spaces that also mark my own journeys and trips. When curbing the ample urban spaces in thin and secure grounds, I restrict the vital space to urban islands and that is how I draw near my own birth place, in which spatial and politic limits distinguish my insularity.” Ibrahim Miranda, 2011

Graduated from the Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA) of Havana (1993) and from the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plasticas from Havana in printmaking (1988).

Ibrahim Miranda received the distinction for Cuban National Culture (2005) ; the 1st Printmaking Prize during the 6th Cuban Encounters of Printmaking (2004) and a Prize during the International Print Triennial of Krakow in Poland (2003).

His last individual shows include : Two Citizens of Utopia at the 8th Floor Gallery in New York, USA (2012) ; Los pasos perdidos at the Galería Villa Manuela in Havana, Cuba (2010) ; Loop at the Galeria 23 y 12 in Havana, Cuba (2008) ; Anamorfosis at the Havana Gallerie in Zürich, Switzerland (2007) ; Metamorfosis at the C5 Colección Galería in Santiago de Compostela, Spain (2007) ; Out of this world at the Alonso Art space in Florida, USA (2005) ; Instinto at the gallery La Confronta in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba (2005) ; Islas Urbanas at the Galería Habana in Havana, Cuba (2004) and the travelling show Mapas at the Havana Gallerie in Zürich, Switzerland (2002), at the Espacio Arguibel in Buenos Aires, Argentina (2001) and at the Couturier Gallery of Los Angeles, USA (2000).

Regarding his participation to collective exhibitions, his work was showcased in : Puro Arte 14 artistas cubanos in Spain (Casa América, Madrid and gallery Pilar Riberaygua in Andorra – 2008) ; Cartografías. Isla de Ultramar 1560-2008 at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Havana, Cuba (2008) ; Motivo para un Encuentro at the Galería Luz y Oficios in Havana, Cuba (2007); A través del Espejo. Arte Cubano Hoy at the Allegro Galería in Panama city, Panama (2007) ; Infinite Island: Contemporary Caribbean Art at the Brooklyn Museum in New York, USA (2007-2008) ; Cuba Avant-Garde: Contemporary Cuban art from the Farber Collection at the University of Florida, USA (2007) and CUBA The Next generation-Part 2 at the Cuban Art Space in the Center for Cuban Studies of New York, USA (2005).

Ibrahim Miranda participated in the 8th (2006) and in the 11th Havana Biennial (2012) ; in the 9th Biennial of Cuenca, Ecuador (2007) as well as in the Trienal Poligráfica de San Juan: América y el Caribe in Puerto Rico (2004).

His work was featured in the art fairs of Shanghai (2008), Istanbul (2006) ; Frankfurt (2005) or Madrid (2004)

Ibrahim Miranda’s artworks are contained in the collections of the following institutions :

Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes and Casa de las Américas in Havana, Cuba ; MoMA in New York, Musem of Fort Lauderdale or Peter Norton Collection in Santa Monica USA ;  ICP (Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña) in Puerto Rico, and in the foundation Thyssen Bornemisza in Austria.

Exclusive Interview  with Ibrahim Miranda

Ibrahim Miranda answered to our questions in Havana during the 11th Biennial. He describes his passion for cartography and his quest for Cuban insularity. Ibrahim mixes fictions and individual narratives through artworks dealing also with a more global context. Discover his universe…

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Artworks by the artist

Ibrahim Miranda | Un Toro en Tel-Aviv

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Ibrahim Miranda | Un Cerdo en São Paulo

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Ibrahim Miranda | Caballito de Mar en Dublin

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Ibrahim Miranda | Caballo en Madrid

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Ibrahim Miranda | Alce en Washington

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Ibrahim Miranda | Bebé Elefante en Berlín

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