"UNCOMFORTABLE AND RESTLESS" - Read Sierra Maestra about M. Mirabal


Read the transcription of the Sierra Maestra interview about M. Mirabal's Falgs Artwork.

Michel Mirabal Aspen Art Gallery

Despite his youth, Michel Mirabal shares exhibitions and projects with established artists of the visual arts in Cuba.

Michel Mirabal is not an easy creator, those whose work pleases everyone equally. His speech can be unsettling, alternative, uncomfortable and disturbing, on the surface, and then blossom into a treat serious and profound reflections, always with a touch of history and social and very attached to the present backdrop. 
He is a modern social chronicler who will never be a "nice" artist, and neither are those who intend to reflect with his work, everyone who looks to the creative world of plastic.
According to this journalist, Michel Mirabal perhaps miss a few years- requisite established by no one knows whom-to be a great artist. Time, as usual, will have the last word, but today is planted as a creator overflowing their concerns in a provocative and controversial art, but very genuine.

Why of all the visual elements that can represent Cuba, the Cuban or Cuban men and women, just choose the flag, a national symbol?

For a long time I searched for an element that is common to all Cubans, not just those who live in the country but also to those anywhere in the world.
That element is the flag that embraces us all, which we all fit, and also, artistically speaking, is very beautiful, with very nice colors.
You are known as "the painter of the flags". What does that name mean to you?

I am now the painter of flags, tell me so, but before it was the painter of hands because he had a character I designed and created, which is a hand-bodied man, and went through life doing the same pranks we do we, so I first said so.
Now I have focused more on the issue of flags but I have many more series, but the flags have a popularity that even I imagined, in Cuba and abroad.
In fact, the first time I made a Cuban was not, but was Puerto Rican, in 2002, then made ours and the time to date has evolved, it's very different.

How has the flag theme in your work?
The first flag I did in my work, Puerto Rican, had barbed wire, and reflected the problem I had in Vieques.
Then I said, in Cuba we have no problems exist in Vieques but we also have good and bad as in the rest of the world, then I did the Cuban flag, with barbed wire but with flowers.
Then, pictorially speaking, we have incorporated other elements such as bullet casings, rice, nuts, and screws, different colors, blue and red, which have enriched the original idea.
All these elements identify us as Cubans, we have to have these freedoms and struggled enough blood has been spilled and lost many valuable people. For example, the cap is what remains after firing, is the footprint we have fought for and what we still need to fight, but rice is essential for us Cubans ... are elements that identify us.
Continuing the series of flags, what new elements identified think the Cubans in the future and today?
Well recently I have also included the American flag. There are many artists in the world who have painted, but the interesting thing is that before the December 17, 2014, I was working that issue, and also combine with other elements, such as shell casings, barbed wire, between others.
I do not know what the future holds, but I hope they are more flowers than barbed wire.
You call yourself as artist as a social, rather than political artist. Why in Cuba and what it means to be a "social artist"?
When I go around the world people think I am a person who disagrees with the Cuban government and that I am an opponent, and in Cuba say the opposite me. I do agree neither with one nor with the other.
I believe that every citizen of the world must have the respect and decency of saying things that feel good and they feel bad, for a country to run, if you shout callus hurts, and if the shoe fits you callus accommodate you, so you have to say.
My work is social because overturn society. My work is not to give a political position is to say socially what we like and what is not political decisions.

Your work has toured the world, from Canada, the United States and in November think exhibit in Rome and the Vatican, but what may have special exhibit in Santiago de Cuba, known as the City Hero or Heroine, and now also as the Capital of history, and your pieces collected different times of the future of the nation?
In 1998 I came to Santiago de Cuba when I graduated with a group exhibition. At that time I told myself that I would do an exhibition here but when you have something that is level with the city and its history.
I had the opportunity several times to make presentations here, but there was an issue on those occasions that corresponded with the city, its future and its people.
I have been over 30 times to Santiago and I have people who are not family, but as if they were, and now, 17 years later, I come with the series of flags, a strong exposure is almost the same as I presented in the latest edition of the Havana Biennial, but four works
I think now we can make a presentation in Santiago de Cuba by the time we are living, these pieces were made so that the people would be reflected in a hope of good things that can come, and also bad things.
I do not disrespect the people bringing something that has no attractive, on the contrary, this exhibition which opens at the Art Gallery René Valdes, he has aroused interest, which pleases me very much.
I'm very happy with that, I hope you enjoy it and you can understand, because exposure suit thinking about the city of Santiago de Cuba.
Tell me about relay race, which is exposed in Santiago de Cuba in the Gallery Rene Valdes, the book of the same name, and some future plans.
The book "relay race" will be presented by the curator and art critic Maria Isabel Perez Perez, director of the Cuban Art Seal, at 8 pm on October 29 in the Courtyard of the Caguayo Foundation.
The 30th exhibition of the same name will open at the Galerie René Valdes, at 7 pm, also curated and design of Mary. There are six light boxes eight timber.
This is almost 70 percent of what I took to the Havana Biennial. The book did for the same event and also I did bring another one to the number of flags, as this is very important for my career, includes pretty pictures.
Thanks to the Foundation Caguayo bring all this art in Santiago de Cuba, without them I would not have been possible.
After this exhibition in Santiago de Cuba, I will travel to New York and Miami, the latter target will participate in the art fair Art Basel and I will be working in the gallery Alberto Linero, in Wynwood, where I will make a mural with Alberto Lescay and Choco, it is a project called Three, as do different things but we linking the issue of nationality.
In January I expose my work in the Cervantes, Rome, and later at the Vatican, where the Pope will make a work, and we hope that the Pope attend.
Your work is a journey of the senses to the reflective. Currently, your work, should reflect on what the Cuban citizen today?
All my works themselves are reflective because I consider myself a chronicler of society and of the moments of which we live.
This context, in particular the restoration of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States, will mark important moments, perhaps the beginning of the end. Would that be so. So although we advocate does not mean it that way exactly.
Since solar, mugs, streets of Havana, hands, Christs and flags are works to reflect. The latter, flags, is to think about an issue that touches us, the Cuban and what it means to be Cuban.
On that topic, there are works on specific thought-provoking, some are made with sheets of newspaper Granma, after 1959 which speaks of the principles of the revolution and the relationship at the time with the United States, there are also other elements as the editorial published in the New York prior to the restoration of diplomatic relations Times. People can compare as it was, as it was and what it will reflect.

How woul you like to be reminded what Michel Mirabal, as the painter of hands, banners?
I remember as a mulatto who left a slum in Havana and dreamed of becoming an artist and a chronicler of the society. Then they decide if I succeeded or not.