The practice of Miguel Branco (1963) is closely tied to the medium of painting and sculpture. Although at first encounter, seemingly classical in form, the roots of Miguel Branco’s practice are in fact, closely tied to the postmodern, namely to its principles of appropriation and of displacement. His paintings and drawings frequently feature animal motives, borrowed from old atlases and historical scientific books. From scientific representations of animals, these are transformed into characters of Branco’s paintings. These frequently inherit human characteristics, may this be in the context of their placement, or in the manner they have been made to perform. Many of Branco’s drawings and paintings imply a sense of darkness and/or irony, which is explored further in his sculptural work. While Branco’s paintings reject the human figure as a motive of depiction, many of the artist’s sculptures are in fact human figures. Depicted frequently in a dark existential manner, the sculptures of Miguel Branco, in many ways, become a loophole for the viewing of the artist’s oeuvre, for which simultaneously estrangement, alienation and misplacement are the point of departure.
Miguel Branco is a leading Portuguese artist of his generation. His work has been featured in numerous Portuguese and International exhibitions. Selected exhibitions include Museé de la Chasse et de la Nature (Paris), Pavilhão Branco, Museu da Cidade (Lisbon), Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian (Lisbon), MUDAM, Musée D’Art Moderne Grand Duc Jean (Luxembourg), Culturgest (Lisbon), Museu de Serralves (Porto, Portugal) among other.