As I sit in my quarantine bunker, my Chillhop playlist streaming in the background, all is well. An ad for Tony Hawk’s latest videogame comes on. I pause. What the actual – this is realistic looking AF. 😳
I’m no video game pro, I dabble. I’ve beat all the Drake and Resident Evil series, I follow along with my younger sister’s achievements on Fortnite and I freak out at the lifelike look of the characters and designs. We’ve come so far since my days of Donkey Kong.
Artist Joseph Miranda creates pieces that depict the future of the human body. I first met him during Art Basel at an exhibition hosted by Arthood in Liberty City Miami in 2018. His work caught my eye and I waited around for him while his friend sent him text messages saying “come down here, there’s a collector interested in your work.”
When Joseph showed up I talked to him about his process and what he was communicating. Joseph draws out a picture, digitizes it, prints it, and then assembles them into 3d framed works. He said in the future people will have robotic body parts. I laughed negotiated a price for 6 of his pieces and confirmed that he would not reproduce them. I wanted to be the sole owner of these one of a kind creations.
When I think about the future do I think its that far fetched to think that a child growing up today will play a skateboarding video game nail some insane tricks then go outside pick up a board attempt to do the trick in real life and break a body part? No. I think that’s entirely possible. Likely this has already happened.
Furthermore, do I think that same child will grow up, learn that what’s possible in the digital world is not possible in the real world due to the limitations of the human body, problem-solve that, innovate and create robotic body parts, not for the purpose of medical challenges but to supplement his desires to achieve athletic greatness? Yes. I think that is entirely possible as well.
Real-life “iron-humans”. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Will the laws that are being created today around how the government controls our bodies become the precedent for what alterations we can legally do to our bodies in the future?
It’s a question worth considering as elections are around the corner. Artists and their art have a way of seeing the truth, the present, the future, the past, how these interact together, and in sometimes direct, other times subtle ways, push us to examine these questions. If we take the time to see and reflect.
Thank you Joseph for creating and sharing something that made me pause and think. Read more about Joseph in the interview below.
Tell us about yourself.
I’ve always been making art, ever since I could draw. I was a shy kid growing up, so I would always be off on my own, making things out of paper and creating my own worlds. My mother really pushed me to keep going with it, so here I am now, still doing it. My work is about the past, present, and future. Where we’re from, where we are, and where we’re going.
How do you want people to feel when they look at your work?
I want them to feel whatever it is that they need to, but whatever it is, be in the moment when you do.
Well, it definitely did that for me! What are you currently working on?
I’m working on a body of new work and a 365 project on my Instagram. I’ve also been creating products on my account and promoting my Patreon page. I’m always working on overcoming my challenges which are time, and money.
I’ve done a few art shows and events while growing up but I really have only started to work as a professional artist in 2016. I’m a self-taught artist and filmmaker. I would have liked to go to school for filmmaking, for the experience more than anything, but I didn’t have the money for it.
Well, you got into an Art Basel show which is huge for an artist, so great job. Any advice for artists who are looking to do that?
Make a lot of stuff, do a lot of things, find your style, find your voice. Then go out and actually bring it to people to see in person, not just on a phone screen. You have to show your work where people can see it in person. Then hopefully you’ll meet someone who knows someone looking for artists for their show. You can’t meet the right people by sitting at home, you have to go out and look for opportunities.
What have been the highlights of your career so far?
All the people I now know because of my work, the places I’ve seen, and the feelings I’ve felt, good and bad. Winter Haven doesn’t have a big art scene at all so it’s pretty night and day between there and places like Miami. Everything is slow there compared to Miami. I don’t think Winter Haven will ever get an art scene but that’s alright, it has its own character already.
How do you decide how to price your work?
For me, it has to do with the quality of the work as far as the skill and materials used, mixed with the time it took to create, and the reputation of the artist who created it. That’s why a line drawn by Picasso will be worth millions and one drawn by someone on the street will be worthless. I don’t know the exact number of collectors of my work currently, but the number is growing so I’m doing something correctly!