Wednesday, 19/5/2021 | : : UTC+0

Google joins Goa in paying tribute on Mario’s 90th birth anniversary

Google joins Goa in paying tribute on Mario’s 90th birth anniversary

Panaji: In what is probably a first dedicated to a Goan, Monday saw Google pay tribute to Goa’s beloved cartoonist Mario de Miranda with a special Google doodle, marking the legend’s 90th birth anniversary.

“I feel very happy that Mario’s hard work is being recognised. I am amazed at the quantity of work he produced, which, in his words, was his way of praying. I feel that if it wasn’t for the initiative of Gerard da Cunha, his work would soon be forgotten. Some young art students in Goa haven’t even heard of him. On the other hand young people who are not from Goa and who I have casually spoken to in trains, admire Mario as an idol,” Miranda’s younger sister Fatima Figueiredo tells TOI.

Mario’s works often featured complex, multi-layered scenes. Humanity floods the canvas, yet each character maintains their individuality, Google stated.

Aaron Renier, an artist fond of portraying large crowds, was invited as guest doodler. He approached Mario’s work by pretending he was drawing with him. “I chose his most popular style, very flat with criss-crossing interactions. That is what I liked most about his work, trying to pick out who knows who, who’s watching who, who’s annoyed by who, who’s enamoured by who,” said Renier.

Figueiredo keeps imagining the hustle, bustle and joy of her mother and grandparents at their house in Nani Daman, Damao Pequeno (as it was then known), where Mario was born 90 years ago, two years after the birth of the late Pedro, who incidentally was also an artist of charcoal portraits but never pursued his innate art.

The intensity of his work, she explains, was inculcated by their mother who never allowed idleness.

Younger by 16 years she remembers following Miranda on his walks with friends in Loutolim and Daman. “I was fascinated watching him sketch his diaries and every late November I would accompany our mother to Panaji where she would order a bound art paper diary with his name and the year. This was the present waiting for him after midnight mass under the huge natural Christmas tree that we had in the courtyard of our Loutolim house,” she says.

Proud of the Google doodle in his memory, she wishes her brother was around to see it.

She can’t compare him to any other artist. For her he was “just my brother who made the most of his ability and later developed the art of creating monumental works with little strokes as a form of therapy.”

She believed her brother was indeed special. “There are so many people with so much talent, but make no use of it. There’s a saying in Portuguese that God gives nuts to those who have no teeth.”

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