With his sharp wit and satirical yet sympathetic portrayals of daily life, Indian artist and cartoonist Mario de Miranda is the perfect companion during a lockdown. These illustrations coming up in our next StoryLTD auction, The World of Mario, are sure to add some humour to your walls, and are as relevant as ever to the strange times we’re living in. Bid on your favourite works on 20 April 2020 from the comfort of your home.
If you frequent Cafe Mondegar in Colaba, with its enticing smells and animated crowds, you would perhaps agree that the cafe would not be complete without its iconic Mario Miranda cartoons sprawled across the walls. Widely recognised as one of India’s most popular and gifted cartoonists, Mario Miranda (1926 – 2011) infused a razor-sharp sense of humour in the humdrum. His work featured regularly in many noteworthy Indian newspapers, including the Times of India and the Economic Times.
StoryLTD is celebrating his life and work through four online collections, where a wide range of Mario Miranda prints and drawings are available to buy. Our Limited Edition Prints and Open Edition Prints span his travels across the United States, Europe, China and India, and also cover his interpretations of historical moments as they occurred. Works like “The Barber’s Shop” and “The Street Where I Live” wittily condense scenes that we see unfold around us, with a timely sense of humour. Not all are caricatures, however. Works such as “Colonial Portuguese Architecture” and “Street in Fontainhas” appear inspired by places where he might have been physically present. Many of his ink and pen caricatures of office and day-today life, and politics, are compiled in our collection of Mario Miranda Originals. Some among you may recollect the Jazz Yatra festivals held between 1980 and 2003; Yatra…and all that Jazz… is a selection of pen, ink, and watercolour sketches that capture the moods of these festivals.
“The Street Where I Live” Digital print on paper
“The Barber’s Shop” Digital print on paper
“Street in Fontainhas” Digital print on paper
“Colonial Portuguese Architecture” Digital print on paper
Although he never received formal art training, Mario Miranda’s talent was recognised by his friends while he was studying architecture after receiving a B.A. in History. What started as a sideline to make extra money from his friends spiralled into a full-fledged career as a cartoonist. He first gained nationwide popularity through his work in The Illustrated Weekly of India. Through this and other Mumbai-based newspapers, his work grew in popularity. The five years that he lived in England allowed him to travel around Europe extensively, and his work was featured in magazines including Lilliput, Mad and Punch.
A 1980 pen and ink on paper From the collection “Mario Miranda, Originals”
A 1970s pen and ink on paper From the collection “Mario Miranda, Originals”
“Herbie Mann”, from the collection Yatra…And All That Jazz… Pen and ink on paper
“Kenny Barron at the Piano”, from the collection Yatra…And All That Jazz… Watercolour, pen and ink on paper
In 1974, at the invitation of the United States Information Service, Mario Miranda travelled to the United States to promote his work and meet other cartoonists, including Charles M. Shultz, the creator of the popular comic series “Peanuts”. Yet, despite all his travels, Mario Miranda retained a distinctly Indian flavour. Be it his caricatures or vignettes of the villages of his birthplace Goa and sub-Indian cultures, Miranda’s work reflects his experiences of modern India; frenetic lines and curvaceous women populate almost all his prints and paintings.
Mario Miranda has been recognised internationally with a number of solo exhibitions in many countries, including Japan, Germany, the USA, Spain and France.