The Post-Modern Art of Pico Miran

(Arthur Wilson painted in his Gloucester, Massachusetts studio, located in the Bradbury Building, under the pseudonym “Pico Miran”.  The Bradbury Building burned to the ground in the 1950’s, destroying among other things, the only copy of Wilson’s autobiography.  We understand that Pico Miran paintings were offered for sale during his lifetime, and would greatly appreciate any insights that anyone can offer as to the paintings that exist outside of the family.

Many of the post-modern paintings were given titles.  It appears that none were signed on the front, but many have identifying markers on the backings.  The post-modern paintings have themes related to nuclear destruction, political and religious themes of the times.  The titles of some of the paintings provide insights as to the message reflected in the artwork.


This painting, untitled, paired with a photograph of the artwork on display, along with the artist and Rockport resident Bea McNulty, was published in The Rockport Eagle.

Arthur Art ShowEvery-New-Language-Requires-A-New-Soul

Images of many of Pico Miran’s post-modern paintings are shown below, with their names (if available) and the measurements of the actual paintings:

Lutie-From-Harlem-25x50
Lutie from Harlem (25″ x 50″)
Little-Doors-To-Nowhere-40x40
Little Doors to Nowhere (40″ x 40″)
Exaggerated-Sleep-Temperature-Variations-of-Cerebro-tonic-Ectomorph-24x34
Exaggerated Sleep-Temperature Variations of Cerebro-tonic 24″ x 34′)

 

Human-Conception-of-God-(God,-Ape,-Swine)-30x36
Human Conception of God (God, Ape, Swime) (30″ x 36″)
Mystery-of-Metempsychosis-In-The-Last-Years-of-Man-26x32
Mystery of Metempsychosis in the Last Years of Man (26″ x 32″)
Self-Portrait-of-a-Fetus-30x25
Pre-Natal Self Portrait – Myself Perturbed by Pre- Natal Experience (30″ x 25″)
Post-Apocolyptic-Landscape-24x36
Post Apocolyptic Landscape ( 24″ x 36″)
Sow's-Head-On-Silk-30x36
Sow’s Head on Silk (30″ x 36″)
The-Mechanical-Logos-Taking-Communion-40x30
The Mechanical Logos Taking Communion (40″ x 30″)
Processions-Defunctive-25x30
Processions Defunctive & Implacable (25″ x 30″)
Equations-Factored-In-The-Desert-29x36
Equations Factored in the Desert (29″ x 36″)
Friendly-Dogon-Brushing-Flies-Off-Civilized-Souls-40x24
Friendly Dogon Brushing Flies Off Civilized Souls (40″ x 24″)
Floating-Objects
Floating Objects (22″ x 28″)

There exists a five piece series of 16″ x 20″ paintings that depict scenes reflective of war, religion and politics, that I refer to as the “Political Series”.  One, in particular, has notes on the backing which read:

“”God-given Right.  “The right to prosperity is a God-given right” (Al Smith)., c.f. Bethlehem Steel Strike, Johnstown, Pa., the role of the Reverend John H. Stanton (The Nation, March 26, 1938).”

Political-Series---Al-Smith

The painting itself depicts multiple topics, including religion, racism, nazism, big business and politics.  The artist clearly desired to make a composite between these topics evidenced by his notation “c.f.”.

Al Smith (Alfred E. Smith) is depicted in the painting, holding the Empire State Building in his hat.  Alfred E. Smith, a Roman Catholic, was the developer of the Empire State Building in New York City (completed in 1931), and was the Mayor of New York City for four terms: in 1919-1920, and again in 1923-1928.  He ran for President of the United States in 1928 against Herbert Hoover and lost.

The editorial referred to by the artist was published in the March 26, 1938 issue of The Nation, was entitled Fascism – American Style, and focused on the Bethlehem Steel Strike, detailing a web of greed and corruption in government, religion and big business at the expense of the workers.


The remaining four paintings of the “Political Series”are displayed below:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Longhorn-(2)
Heliocoidal Labyrinth (32″ x 38″)
Skull-(2)
Sweetheart.  The Sheer Equivocation of Events!  (16″ x 20″)
SKULL
Ectoplasmic brain remembering its own skull (20″ x 30″ irregular)
Merry-go-Round
Merry-go-round (27″ x 32″)
1620-(2)
Shadow of a great rock in a weary land (27″ x 40″)

bp12 IMG0008