Throughout his life, Miró’s goal for his art was to be able to make the painting into a poem, for a picture speaks a thousand words, and a Miró could speak two thousand. He also sought to balance compositions. Joan Miró rejected the constraints of traditional painting, creating works “conceived with fire in the soul but executed with clinical coolness,” as he once said. Widely considered one of the leading Surrealists, though never officially part of the group, Miró pioneered a wandering linear style of Automatism—a method of “random” drawing that attempted to express the inner workings of the human psyche. Miró used color and form in a symbolic rather than literal manner, his intricate compositions combining abstract elements with recurring motifs like birds, eyes, and the moon. “I try to apply colors like words that shape poems, like notes that shape music,” he said. While he prized artistic freedom, Miró revered art history, basing a series of works on the Dutch Baroque interiors of Hendrick Sorgh and Jan Steen.
According to Miró, his work “always takes place in three stages: first, the suggestion, always forms the material; second, the conscious organization of these forms; and third, the compositional enrichment.” For example, a crack on the wall could be the suggestion, then he would build off that with some further shapes and forms, and after that finish the painting off.
Joan Miró’s life philosophy was, “you must always plant your feet firmly on the ground if you want to jump into the air. The fact that I come down to Earth from time to time makes it possible to jump all the higher.” His artwork in the beginning was small, and critics didn’t pay too much attention to it. But each time he started a new piece, it became more and more popular, more and more influential, which led to his significance in today’s art world and history.