Miramontes doesn’t work alone

Mark Rivera

Dada and surrealist artist Marcel Duchamp once said, “I don’t believe in art. I believe in artists.”

This idea — that art is more about collaboration and the making of personal connections through the medium — is what drives the creative energy in artist Eddie Miramontes, a City College student.

“A lot of the things that I want to do artistically is going to involve a lot more than me just sitting in my studio by myself making art,” Miramontes said. “A lot of the stuff I want to do is in the realm of trying to organize the usage of not only my energy but the usage of other people’s energy.”

With this in mind, Miramontes has been sharing his creativity for the past eight years or so. He has participated in collective art shows and art exchanges and has designed and created art for local musicians. He’s also collaborated musically as a musician and song-writer.

Miramontes’ art is raw, which naturally falls in line with his do-it-yourself work ethic. His work draws inspiration from eye-catching patterns of words or colors that create an at-first chaotic aesthetic that gives way to thought-provoking illuminations as each word or image begins to present itself clearly.

According to Teresa Mill, Miramontes’ co-worker at the Ken Cinema in Kensington, his art “seems like it’s produced in a kind of a fever.” And although Miramontes’ work is filled with chaotic spontaneity, Mill describes it as also “being informed by his intelligence and his knowledge of art history.”

Miramontes works with paint, silk screen, and more obscure printing methods to create his mesh of symbols and imagery.

“He does a lot of printing,” student and Miramontes collaborator Zaki Younis said.

Younis helps him with various projects at Miramontes’ North Park studio. These projects can include anything from helping screen-print flyers for an upcoming music performance or creating other merchandise for local bands.

“We could work for five hours at a time,” Younis said. “We would just fall into the work we had to do. He’s got a lot of determination.”

“Big Sky” is a moniker Miramontes has used when labeling his art pieces. The name serves as a pseudonym and a symbol of the idea of creating art that invites others to take part and share their creative energy.

Miramontes said he has strived to create with close friends in order to achieve a bigger idea.

“Any important art movement that we’ve known for the past two, three hundred years has been organizations of small groups of people,” Miramontes said.

Miramontes said he is focusing on becoming not only a great artist but a great musician. He is currently taking music theory and jazz ensemble classes at City College. He said he makes in much the same way that he makes art, creating with other people to achieve something greater.

He said he isn’t focusing his energies on becoming the next Picasso but instead his goal is learning and becoming better at art through whatever medium presents itself.

“I don’t know exactly what I’m gonna try to do with art in the future because my view of art is changing,” Miramontes said. “It’s changed so much since I started working on art and I’m pretty sure its going to keep on changing. But that’s always going to be the underlying point – striving to connect people.”