Nemesio Miranda, Jr.: Forerunner of Imaginative Figurism

Manila Bulletin, November 28, 2010 | Go to article overview

Nemesio Miranda, Jr.: Forerunner of Imaginative Figurism


Imaginative figurism is a process in which the artist produces a detailed rendition of the human body through paintings and sculptures by using vivid visual recollections from the mind. The term was originally used by Nemesio Miranda, Jr. one of the leading artists in the art capital of the Philippines - Angono, Rizal - to describe his artworks. Miranda, or Nemiranda as he is often referred to in the art industry, has been using imaginative figurism as the foundation of his numerous works of art. From sketches, paintings, and murals, Miranda has been creating artworks depicting the joyous nature of Filipino culture while relishing the glory of simple living in his hometown."The term is an art philosophy that I have developed through the years. This is the mastery of the human form through pure imagination. Having a sharp imagination is like having a third eye na kahit nakapikit ka, you can still see the figure as if you can see its details and you can draw the human figure in the right proportions," expressed Miranda.Vivid VisualizationsMiranda credits the fluidity of motion of his human subjects to his sharp memory and early relationship with art. The Angono artist recalls that he started delving into arts when he was just five years old. He would scribble and do sketches on any kind of paper."As far as I can remember, I was already drawing when I was five years old or even younger. I was influenced by comics which were very influential back then. At that time, I had no idea who the artist was and I still appreciated his work. Later, when I learned to read, I found out that it was Francisco Coching. Then, when I was in grade five or six, that's when I saw the works of Botong Francisco na kababayan namin. That's when my passion to become an artist began. They are the two Franciscos that inspired and challenged me to become an artist," the artist shared.It was Coching's fine depiction of the human body that caught the attention of the young Miranda. Little did the artist know that it's his fascination with the human form that would catapult him into greatness.The imagination plays an important role in an artist's attempt to create a physical representation of his thoughts. But for Miranda and his mastery of imaginative figurism, it only takes him a couple of minutes to fill a blank canvas with free flowing ideas from his mind. Miranda said, "I am a figurative artist, I am inspired by the human figure and I use it as a focal point for my artworks. I never go out without a pencil or a pen in my body as well as a piece of paper. Wherever I am, and during my spare times, I continually sketch using various kinds of models whether it's a man across the street or someone simply standing." The artist also shares that it's not always easy to create a masterpiece especially during his earlier years. It is only through his struggles that an artist fully realizes his talent and finds his niche in the world of art. "The greatest joy for an artist is finishing an artwork the way he wanted it to be, the way he saw it in his mind. Being satisfied with your own artwork is one of the most rewarding things for an artist. Every artist has his own frustrations, and no matter how hard you try to make it beautiful, it just won't work. But then there's always a time when everything seems to flow easily," added MirandaEDSA and NemirandaHis mastery of the human form and his positive perception of human life and Philippine culture are evident in his works. The bright hues depicting daily life are a reflection of the artist's positive outlook in life. Nemiranda says, "I consider myself as a positivist as I always try to see the positive side of life. I am a naturally happy person who can always smile after experiencing a negative occurrence in my life"His continued admiration for human dynamics has led him to take part in the first Edsa Revolution in 1986. …

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