Michel Mirabal works with such Clarity of pure purpose. He has a, self confessed, obsession with the USA. Sometimes, an outsider looking in, can give fresh perspective. Just like with the Artwork collected by ex president Obama “My New Friend” and the Artwork created the two days Obama Meet with the new leadership in Havana “Yesterday and Today”…The gallery recently took a retrospective look at his visit to Aspen..See MIRABAL’s interview with Damian Guillot during his visit to Aspen..
His use of Materials are world renowned and unlike anything you have ever seen
- Bullets and Keys, Bared wire
- the SunFlower that grows right here in Aspen
Check out his Largest Masterwork completed right here "Tough Love"
The origins of his Rise is truly remarkable and makes him one of the most important artists we have ever encountered.
Today we explore the very Origins and Background of MICHEL MIRABAL...ENJOY
( From Online Article translated "Michel Mirabal has no half measures" http://www.cubadebate.cu/especiales/2021/12/13/michel-mirabal-no-tiene-medias-tintas-fotos/)
"His name is Michel Mirabal and there are not a few who ask "who is he?" before seeing his work. Michel Mirabal, better known as the painter of the Cuban flags, more famous outside than inside Cuba."...
there is a lot of painting and works that have passed through the hands and walls of Aspen, Rockefeller Center, the King of Morocco and the president of Egypt, Venice and personalities such as Gabriel García Márquez and Barack Obama.
Michel was born in Key West, in a lot where on Sundays each washed sheet had a different music. Surrounded by a family of artists, his life was always a combination of painting, rumba and an environment "where you had to play it". In fact, he studied bass and percussion is in his blood.
In a neighborhood of "irreverent people", with "all the codes of marginality and marginalized", Michel learned what it was to have a heart of gold and share what one did not have.
His grandfather, Carlos Martínez, "soul of the neighborhood" and of his life, taught him to always be surrounded by children. His mother, Elvira, took him to painting courses since he was a child. In one of those, at the Museum of Fine Arts, he fell in love with what Antonia Eiriz's colors conveyed, and there was no going back. Michel had the feeling that he swallowed all the strong moments he went through and art was the weapon to defend himself against his inner devils.
His mother was the first to tell him that he would do whatever he wanted with those hands. "But of course - a Michel who is not really so shy is justified -, what mother does not say that of a son". Elvira was not so wrong and in her praise of her mother there was substantial evidence of a premonition. Ever since he had the use of reason, Michel remembers having painted, but not “the typical little houses with the puppy that children paint”. Once he stopped talking for six months, he said everything with drawings that he was doing in a notebook.
“I wanted people to understand me through the drawings. I drew what I felt inside”.
Before that there was a sports school where he practiced judo, basketball and wrestling. Michel is an artist man and also a "three-time national wrestling champion." And if someone had been guided by these data, he could have predicted a fruitful future in that world, but sport and art lost and won on the same day. Or maybe not, and the change would have happened anyway; After all, Michel never stopped painting and reading even when he was in sports school. “The intellectual”, they called him. His friends asked him to give talks and gathered around him to hear about Leonardo Padura, Isabel Allende or García Márquez.
During the 2009 Havana Biennial the police arrested Michel. A neighbor saw the work that she was putting on with the Cuban flag and denounced it.
Michel had the idea of using the national symbol for the first time in his work at a friend's house who was doing the Puerto Rican one with spikes. That was very popular and he decided to do the Cuban, but add flower petals. But the idea had surely been forged much earlier, when he was trapped by nationality at the age of five in the walls of the Museum of Fine Arts.
"I can't stand the ignorant and the useful fools. I try to inform myself as much as I can. Sometimes I spend more time trying to figure out what's going on around me than actually working."
His flags are today in many places in the country, on Artex mugs and mobile covers, on walls and murals in universities, ministries and institutions. But his boom came, above all, after Obama's team asked him for a work to put as a background during one of his interventions in Havana.
Michel was already known outside of his country before. The Cuban artist graduated with honors from the Higher Institute of Design and the Rockefeller Center awarded him a scholarship for artistic creation that he was never able to attend because they did not give him a visa.
Richard Mirabal confesses that he greatly underestimated his son when he was young, because he was always with "the cartoons." He wanted him to be a musician like his father. But the best thing that Michel has – he says – is modesty and sincerity, “when he gives himself up, he gives himself up. He has something that I don't know if he inherited it from me or from his mother, he is a Martian, with the poor of the land he wants his fate. He doesn't forget the neighborhood boys. He doesn't forget those who grew up with him."
The day of this interview Michel was telling his driver how sorry he was and how lucky he was because a friend had done him a favor. The "mulatto from Key West" almost shed tears when he replied: "daddy, but you're always doing things for people, someone has to do it for you, let yourself be loved."