Caress of a Bird (La Caresse d'un oiseau), 1967 Painted bronze, 123 x 43 1/2 x 19 in. (312.4 x 110.5 x 48.3 cm.)
Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, Dallas, Texas
Miró's close friend, Joan Prats, once remarked: "When I pick up a stone it's a stone; when Miró picks up a stone, it's a Miró." In Caress of a Bird, Miró transforms common objects found around his studio in the Catalan countryside into a whimsical, totemic symbol of female sexuality. An ironing board and outhouse seat make up her legs and torso. A donkey's straw hat serves as the head. In front, the red tortoise shell symbolizes the figure's sex, while the two miniature soccer balls in back stand for the buttocks. Commonly used by Miró to symbolize reverie or the flight of the imagination, the blue bird perched atop her head is cast from a stone to which Miró has added horn-shaped wings made of clay.