The sibling duo Roberto and Renato Miaz, aka the Miaz Brothers present a radical new approach to portraiture. Using layers of aerosol paint, the brothers create large-format canvases that appear out of focus. The hazy renderings encourage the viewer to engage with the image, pushing the limits of perception and interpretation. With a diverse range of subjects, from portraits of people or scenes to iconic brand packaging, the Miaz Brothers’ have collaborated with an array of iconic brands and exhibited across the globe. Featuring as part of group and solo shows at both international galleries and art fairs, the brothers’ works have been exhibited in London, New York, Miami, Istanbul, Valencia and more.
To celebrate their latest show The Past, Present & Imperceptible which opens in Maddox Gallery on 20th May we were delighted to speak to Roberto and Rento about the development of their collaboration, the approach to portraiture and a taster of what you can expect to see with their latest body of work.
Hi Roberto, Renato, thanks so much for taking the time to speak to us. Firstly, could you talk us through how you began working together and developed such a successful collaborative working process?
We have both always loved art and studied art and European design together at university. Over the years we found we were inspired by the same set of philosophical concepts that we’d collected through our research. We read a lot, travelled, met so many people and learned so many things that helped us to define ourselves. We came to the simple conclusion, which was at that point a revelation, that we could deny hyperrealism. That not everything needed to be certain, and that a character can be one person to an individual one moment, and in another moment, completely different. This sharing of belief, and also ability as brothers to confront each other’s beliefs, has definitely helped us in our working process.
Axis Around the Island
Could you take us through a breakdown of how the collaboration works? And how do you think that your skill sets complement one another?
The most important part of a relationship is the mental part and to be open to one another. We can say that we have quite the same skills slightly accented in one or another, but the point is to be fluid and to complement each other when it is necessary.
Your latest show which opens on the 20th May at Maddox Gallery Is titled ‘The Past, Present and Imperceptible’ which is such an intriguingly grand title. What does this title say about the show?
We hope that the title introduces and reflects our latest body of work, and that it is exactly as you say, intriguing and provides an element of mystery. This collection of work is also representative of a further step and development in our artistic research, which we hope shines though.
The Blind Foam In Between
For any of our audience who aren’t familiar with your work. Could you describe it for them?
It could be described as a stimulation for the consciousness and for the limits of our ideas, those surrounding the world and its symbols. We are trying to force the viewer to interact with the image by filtering it through the perception and their process of identification. We want them to achieve something that is not fixed and limited, but boundless and personal.
Your approach to portraiture is truly radical and unique, the images look as if they are photographs encased behind frosted glass, could you talk us through how you have created these pieces on display.
It’s an extensive process of exploration, which is both theoretical and practical. We passed through every medium we were able to experiment with and wanted to find out which was the most suitable for our nature and philosophical interests. At a stage in our artistic development, we felt the urgency to do something with painting, which was a medium we’ve used since adolescence. We conceived the fundamental concept of erasing the lines to gain a flawless movement of colours. By juxtaposing millions of dots, we dissociate forms from one another, to create something that is not instantly evident but visible from a distance. We choose to use the dots coming a spray can or gun to create this theoretical ‘impressionist’ style of painting.
How do you choose the subjects you wish to depict in each piece?
It’s a choice that reflects our taste and the mood of each period of our research. We like to try a lot of subjects, to translate and give back to the observer, and to be in accordance with the feeling we are trying to develop. Sometimes our subjects are from a past realm, and at other times, from the future.
One thing that immediately stood out to me was that anonymity in the current climate of the digital revolution is becoming both rare and in a lot of cases very difficult. So being presented with blurred figures. Is your work in reaction to this modern trend?
Of course, we are aware of the new and dramatic developments in society and all of their implications. We are in many ways sceptical and critical towards these, which is why we are not pretending to have any answers, we’re bringing hints and ideas to something that we want to be a very open discussion.
Finally, we’ve spoken to quite a few artists over the last 12 months about their experiences over lockdown; How it affected their creative output and the results have varied from it being inspiring artistic production to it being diminished in other cases. How did you find the lockdown months from a creative perspective?
In our opinion, creativity is a rescue boat for all. In moments of emergency, we should remember how powerful and helpful creativity can be, and not be afraid to bring creativity out for ourselves and others to enjoy. We think this is the most important value of art, and that to understand and appreciate this is the central point of being an artist.
Do be sure to pop into their latest show in Maddox Gallery which opens on 20th May.
Don't forget to hashtag #cassart on social media to show us your creations.